Photo via: LSU football/Facebook
With all the action in free agency, it's time to update my mock draft because many teams have filled their needs with free agents. The Houston Texans have the 23rd pick, so let's take a look at how the draft board might stack up.
1. Arizona Cardinals- Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray
Murray should be a great fit in Kingsbury's offense.Composite photo by Brandon Strange
Nothing changes for the Cardinals after free agency. I still think they take Murray and move on from Josh Rosen.
2. San Francisco 49ers- Alabama DL Quinnen Williams
With the 49ers trading for Dee Ford, they pass on Bosa and draft Quinnen Williams.
3. New York Jets- Ohio State DE Nick Bosa
I had the Jets taking DE Josh Allen in Mock 1.0, but with Bosa available this time around, they'll draft him instead of Allen.
4. Oakland Raiders- Kentucky Edge Josh Allen
The Raiders get a pass rusher to replace Khalil Mack.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Michigan DE Rashan Gary
Their defense was horrible last year, so they improve the pass rush with Gary.
6. New York Giants- Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins
It certainly looks like the Giants are rebuilding, and getting a QB has to be a priority.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars- Washington State OT Andre Dillard
With offensive tackle Cam Robinson coming off an ACL injury, the Jags add a tackle to protect their new QB, Nick Foles.
8. Detriot Lions- Mississippi State DE Montez Sweat
Guys that can sack the QB are hard to find.
9. Buffalo Bills- Florida OT Jawaan Taylor
The Bills have one of the worst offensive lines in the league, so they address their weakness with Taylor.
10. Denver Broncos- LSU LB Devin White
I had the Broncos drafting o-line in my first mock. Now that they added some players in free agency, I think they go defense and add a big time playmaker at linebacker. Is 4.42 a good forty time for a linebacker? I thought so.
11. Cincinnati Bengals- Alabama OL Jonah Williams
12. Green Bay Packers- Clemson DL Christian Wilkins
13. Miami Dolphins- Oklahoma OT Cody Ford
14. Atlanta Falcons- Houston DL Ed Oliver
15. Washington Redskins- Missouri QB Drew Lock
16. Carolina Panthers- Iowa TE T.J. Hockenson
17. New York Giants- Ole Miss WR D.K. Metcalf
18. Minnesota Vikings- Michigan LB Devin Bush
19. Tennessee Titans- Iowa TE Noah Fant
20. Pittsburgh Steelers- Oklahoma WR Marquise Brown
21. Seattle Seahawks- Clemson Edge Clelin Ferrell
22. Baltimore Ravens- Florida Edge Jachai Polite
23. Houston Texans- Ole Miss OT Greg Little
I had the Texans selecting LSU corner Greedy Williams in my first mock, and he's still on the board. The Texans would get better value with Williams, but they have to get a young tackle to develop and eventually protect Deshaun Watson. As of March 19th, the Texans still haven't signed any tackles, so drafting a tackle is a MUST. Little may take some time to develop, just like former Texan Duane Brown, but he should be an improvement over Houston's linemen on their roster currently. Also, his poor Combine performance has his value down a bit, but I don't think he'll be on the board if the Texans wait until the second round to draft a tackle. The fact that Little doesn't have his own Pro Football Focus prospect video says a lot. If he does have one, I couldn't find it. He's still under-the-radar for many talent evaluators and people putting mock drafts together. I think he'll become a quality tackle, but it may take some time.
24. Oakland Raiders (via Bears)- Florida State Edge Brian Burns
25. Philadelphia Eagles- LSU CB Greedy Williams
26. Indianapolis Colts- Mississippi State S Johnathan Abram
27. Oakland Raiders (via Cowboys)- Alabama RB Josh Jacobs
28. Los Angeles Chargers- Clemson DL Dexter Lawrence
29. Kansas City Chiefs- Washington CB Byron Murphy
30. Green Bay Packers (via Saints)- Alabama TE Irv Smith Jr.
31. Los Angeles Rams- Georgia CB Deandre Baker
32. New England Patriots- Kansas State OL Dalton Risner
Astros GM Dana Brown has recently discussed how the club is going to approach free agency on the team's flagship station, and based on his comments, it doesn't sound the Astros are going to spend a lot of money.
He mentioned being “creative” with their strategy and maybe exploring some trade possibilities. Which is why we were surprised to hear from Jon Heyman that the Astros may have interest in Japanese pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto, or another “elite” starting pitcher.
Phillies are still looking at top starters after bringing back Aaron Nola. They have company, as at least the Red Sox, Cardinals, Braves, Dodgers and Astros are looking for an elite starter (and many more than just those teams are on Yamamoto, who’s only 25).
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 20, 2023
With the team right up against the tax threshold, a signing like this would certainly push them over, unless they find a way to dump some salary that's already on the books.
But the report that Houston is looking for an elite starter, certainly caught our attention. Mainly, because Dana Brown's comments about backup catcher and bullpen help being the priority, with starting pitching being more of a pipe dream considering the budget constraints.
A move like this would likely require someone like Alex Bregman being traded to make the money work. So is Jon Heyman off the mark with this report, or is Dana Brown quietly looking to add an elite starter?
Plus, just this week the Phillies signed Aaron Nola to a 7-year $172 million contract. Framber Valdez is looking for a long-term deal with 2 years remaining of club control. Will Framber's agent use this contract as a benchmark for what is client is looking for?
Don't miss the video above as we make sense of these recent reports!
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