Round 1, Pick 26 – Whitney Mercilus (OLB/DE)
With their first pick, Houston selected Whitney Mercilus, OLB from Illinois. Mercilus is a speed demon. He will bring an unrivaled amount of athleticism to the defensive front, and provide consistent pressure on the quarterback. Mercilus may not be an immediate starter, but expect to see him rotate in and get substantial playing time.
Round 3, Pick 5 – DeVier Posey (WR)
The third round led Houston to the offensive side of the ball. They selected a mysterious DeVier Posey, WR from Ohio State. Posey made some plays as he made a name for himself in his first two seasons. He was sidelined for most of his last season due to suspensions dealt out for the Ohio State scandal. Posey has potential to step on the field as a starter in 2012. Great value for the third round.
Round 3, Pick 13 – Brandon Brooks (OG)
Eight picks later Houston looked to fortify the offensive line. Brandon Books, guard from Miami (OH), is a big pick for the Texans. 6’5”, 340 pounds big. The offensive line was a concern coming into the Draft. He will be a great fit for the zone blocking scheme that is so crucial to this team's success.
Round 4, Pick 4 – Ben Jones (C)
The Texans revisit the offensive line with their selection of Ben Jones, center out of Georgia. Jones possesses some flaws in his game play. These include fundamental issues with his hands, and footwork. These easily improved areas did not diminish his value because he will be a back up, at least in the short term. Some time spent with the second string will allow for Jones to develop, and potentially become a future stud for the Texans offensive line.
Round 4, Pick 26 – Keshawn Martin (WR)
The Texans with a second pick in the fourth round, returned to the WR position with Keshawn Martin from Michigan State. With the earlier selection of Posey it is hard to imagine that Martin was selected to fill in as a starting receiver. It is probable however, that Martin could play a part in the return game. He was dangerous as a kick returner with Michigan State.
Round 4, Pick 31 – Jared Crick (DE)
The last of the round four picks brought more attention to the defensive line. Jared Crick, defensive end from Nebraska is an extremely promising player. He suffered a torn pectoral muscle his senior year, and injury is always an important part of a player's value, but Crick is definitely worth any risk associated with the injury. This is truly a great value for the Texans with a late fourth round selection.
Round 5, Pick 26 – Randy Bullock (K)
The late fifth-round selection was used to fill in one of the bigger holes on the roster. With Randy Bullock, kicker out of Texas A&M, the Texans picked up a solid kicker that, barring any injury, will be around for a long time. This was the ideal time to replace kicker Neil Rackers.
Round 6, Pick 25 – Nick Mondek (OT)
Round six was used to bring in more depth to the offensive line. With Nick Mondek, tackle out of Purdue; the Texans looked to bring in an additional competitor for a starting spot on the offensive line. Mondek is not necessarily pro-ready, however, he can be developed and make an impact with the offensive line in the future.
The Texans avoided flash in the Draft, instead sticking to the blueprint that has provided success in recent years. Starting with Mercilus, a defensive playmaker, the team initiated the search for that special player that can replace Mario Williams. The Texans took chances on two draft picks, DeVier Posey and Jared Crick; both players have an enormous upside. There is immense value in this pair of prospective selections. The Texans were able to fill the need for a receiver, a kicker, and depth of the offensive and defensive lines all in 8 draft picks.
Great draft for the young Texans. The future looks bright as ever.
Overall Draft Grade: A