Check out the entire Post Draft Winners/Losers series HERE.

 

2012 HOUSTON TEXANS Draft Picks:

RDSEL #PLAYERPOSITIONSCHOOL
126Whitney MercilusLBIllinois
368DeVier PoseyWROhio State
376Brandon BrooksGMiami (Ohio)
499Ben JonesCGeorgia
4121Keshawn MartinWRMichigan State
4126Jared CrickDENebraska
5161Randy BullockKTexas A&M
6195Nick MondekTPurdue

The Texans surprised by going defense with Whitney Mercilus in the first round.  They had bigger needs, like a play maker at wide receiver, but apparently they were looking to replace Mario Williams and/or they went with their highest ranked player on the board.   Mercilus has impressive pass rush skills, but the Texans passed some talented pass catching talent and that may hurt later on.  

They did address the need to get Matt Schaub some new targets by taking wide receivers with the 68th and 121st overall selections. DeVier Posey, ridiculous first name aside, would have generated much more excitement had he not have missed 10 games due to suspension in his final year at Ohio State.  He’s a big bodied receiver with good speed.  The Texans hope that he can do what Jacoby Jones and Kevin Walter have not been able to do, namely; make defenses think twice about focusing all their attention on stopping all-world receiver Andre Johnson.  Posey was good value with the fifth pick of the third round.

They didn’t stop at Posey.  The Texans selected Keshawn Martin, Michigan State, in the fourth round.  Martin should immediately figure into the team’s return game and he’s scrappy enough to earn time in the slot early in the season.  Martin could make Owen Daniels a happy man by freeing up the middle of the field.

The Texans also added some help on the offensive line.  Spending a third round draft choice on Brandon Brooks, G, is questionable though.  He’s a mountain of a man, a physical freak who seems to have everything one would need to be a successful left tackle let along a guard in the NFL.  One small problem when it comes to the big man (6’5′, 343 lbs) is that he failed to dominate the MAC competition.  If the Texans can motive him properly he can start at guard eventually, maybe sooner than later.  Ben Jones (6’2″, 303 lbs.), a center out of Georgia, is a very good fit for the Texans zone blocking scheme.  Jones and Brooks provide fantastic depth for a team that has a chance to do big things.

Here is how we see the Texan Depth Chart entering training camp.

POS1234
QBMatt SchaubTJ YatesJohn BeckCase Keenum (R)
RBArian FosterBen TateJustin Forsett
WR1Andre JohnsonLestar JeanJeff Maehl
WR2Kevin WalterDeVier Posey (R)Keshawn Martin (R)
TEOwen DanielsGarrett Graham

WINNER: Matt Schaub (ADP 107 Overall / QB15) and MAYBE Andre Johnson (ADP 20 Overall / WR3) &  Owen Daniels (ADP 144 Overall / TE 15)

The “Maybes” are because one or both of the rookie receivers will have to play very well if they are going to keep defenses honest enough to draw attention away from Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels.  Matt Schaub, like all QBs, is an automatic winner when more depth and talent is added to the offensive line and wide receiver position.  Matt Schuab was slightly overvalued heading into 2011 but now he is undervalued heading into 2012.  Yes, the Texans have perhaps the best run game in the league and that means a more balanced offense and less passing than many of the more pass-happy teams around the league.  You cannot discount, however, the fact that Owen Daniels (also undervalued where he is being drafted) is coming back healthy.  The Texans have the kind of running back and offensive line depth to sustain injuries and still march forward.  That’s critical to the success of a quarterback over a season.

If Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels can stay healthy for a full season, Schaub should produce like a low end QB#1 that you can get for QB#2 prices.

 

LOSER: Kevin Walter

It’s been a story of diminishing returns since Walter’s peak during the 2007 and 2008 seasons.   He has been marginalized as he’s aged and the team has tried to replace his position with someone who could more effectively take the pressure off of Andre Johnson.  They have failed and the two rookies may not achieve the goal either, but they are sure to cut into the playing time of Walter.  We think that DeVier Posey will start the season as the starting RB opposite Andre Johnson and Keshawn Martin will see significant playing time in the slot early on.  We’re not convinced either receiver is a long term answer, but they represent progress.  Walter is not worth drafting in all but very deep leagues.

Watch the rookies closely.  Neither Posey nor Martin is going to be worth having on your roster in redraft leagues week one – unless they have an outstanding preseason.  One of them may be the kind of player that you add via waivers early in the season, however, and get a few starts out of based on either matchups or injuries.

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