AND THE HOUSTON TEXANS SELECT...

Josh Jordan's mock draft 4.0: The Oliver twist

Photo via: University of Houston football/Facebook

Okay, so I'm not going to try to predict all the possible trades that may go down. My mock draft is more about showing where I anticipate players to be selected, which positions teams are looking to fill, and what the player's perceived value is. There were seven trades on the first day of the draft last year, and it won't surprise me if it happens again.

This mock draft is mostly about the Texans and I think the majority of the early trades in the 1st round for QBs, won't impact the Texans all that much. I will say, the more QBs that go in the 1st round, the better for the Texans. If 4 QBs get taken before the Texans pick at No. 23, that means Houston gets a Top 20 non-QB prospect. Texans fans have to love that.

Let's take a look at how the draft board might stack up.

1. Arizona Cardinals- Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray

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There are some rumblings that Murray may not be the pick, but if the Cardinals don't trade out, I think they draft Murray.

2. San Francisco 49ers- Ohio State DE Nick Bosa

The 49ers take the best player on the board despite trading for Dee Ford.

3. New York Jets- Kentucky Edge Josh Allen

The Jets need somebody that can pressure the QB. Allen is that somebody.

4. Oakland Raiders- Alabama DL Quinnen Williams

This pick could also be Ed Oliver, he's shooting up draft boards. But I'm still gonna predict they take Williams.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Houston DL Ed Oliver

I'm buying into the hype. I had Oliver going No. 12 to the Packers in my last mock, but this time I think he goes Top 5 and Top 3 would not shock me. One way to improve the Bucs' secondary is to get more pressure on the QB. Oliver can do that and then some. I'm hearing the Bucs may trade out of this spot, so that is something to look out for.

6. New York Giants- Michigan DE Rashan Gary

I had the Giants taking a QB in this spot in my last mock, but Gary was already off the board. The Giants also have another pick in the 1st round, so they can address QB there if need be. There is some concern over Gary's shoulder, so if he falls on Thursday night, that's probably the reason.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars- Florida OT Jawaan Taylor

Nothing changes here. The Jags take Taylor to pair with Cam Robinson at tackle. As long as Robinson recovers from his ACL injury, they should be set at tackle for years to come.

8. Detriot Lions- Mississippi State DE Montez Sweat

Matt Patricia is all about defense, and they have to get pressure on Aaron Rodgers. Trubisky and Cousins aren't too shabby either. This could change if teams are concerned about Sweat's heart condition.

9. Buffalo Bills- Washington State OT Andre Dillard

The Bills offensive line is awful. Time to add a tackle and protect Josh Allen. Being able to run the ball in December is a must in Buffalo. Dillard can help with that.

10. Denver Broncos- LSU LB Devin White

The Broncos had an elite defense the last time they won a Super Bowl. Devin White will make an immediate impact and I think the Broncos roll with Flacco this year and wait on QB.

11. Cincinnati Bengals- Missouri QB Drew Lock

Time to move on from Andy Dalton and get a QB will some serious arm talent.

12. Green Bay Packers- Alabama OL Jonah Williams

Great value and he protects Rodgers who has been injured quite a bit the last couple of years.

13. Miami Dolphins- Clemson DL Christian Wilkins

The Dolphins are rebuilding and Wilkins is a nice piece for their d-line.

14. Atlanta Falcons- Oklahoma OT Cody Ford

This may be a little early for Ford, but a big tackle makes sense.

15. Washington Redskins- Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins

The Redskins need a QB and if Haskins falls, they should grab him.

16. Carolina Panthers- Clemson Edge Clelin Ferrell

The Panthers need a pass rush with Peppers retiring.

17. New York Giants- Duke QB Daniel Jones

It looks like the Giants will pass on Haskins at No. 6, and Daniel Jones already has a relationship with Eli and will be the QB in waiting for New York.

18. Minnesota Vikings- NC State C Garrett Bradbury

Vikings really need help on the o-line and Bradbury can step right in and make an impact.

19. Tennessee Titans- Iowa TE T.J. Hockenson

Hockenson is a steal at No. 19 and Delanie Walker is 100 years old and coming off an injury.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers- Michigan LB Devin Bush

The Steelers will have a party in the draft room if they get Bush at No. 20. Bush can replace Ryan Shazier in the middle of the Pittsburgh defense.

21. Seattle Seahawks- Florida State Edge Brian Burns

Seattle can address receiver later in the first round after trading with the Chiefs.

22. Baltimore Ravens- Ole Miss WR D.K. Metcalf

I'm sure the Ravens would like to take a pass rusher here, but they also need receiver help desperately.

23. Houston Texans- Greedy Williams

Photo via: LSU Football/Facebook

I know it seems crazy that Williams would fall this far, and the questions about his football character don't exactly scream Texans worthy, but they need a starting corner, and he has the physical traits GM Brian Gaine desires. SPEED! Plus, LSU is known for having great DB play. The Texans say they want to get faster and Williams running a 4.37 forty certainly qualifies as fast.

Ideally I would like to put a tackle here, but that would mean reaching for Ole Miss OT Greg Little or Kansas State OT Dalton Risner. I'm cool with them taking either one of those guys, but Brian Gaine seems to be a GM that takes the best player available. We saw that when he took safety Justin Reid last year.

Oklahoma's Cody Ford would be a good pick, but I have the Falcons taking him earlier in the first round. Don't rule out the Texans trading back and picking up some extra picks. Drafting one of these tackles in the late first or early second round, and picking up extra picks, would be a nice way of navigating the draft.

24. Oakland Raiders (via Bears)- Iowa TE Noah Fant

The Raiders replace Jared Cook.

25. Philadelphia Eagles- Washington CB Byron Murphy

The Eagles have to fix the secondary.

26. Indianapolis Colts- Mississippi State S Johnathan Abram

Chris Ballard can hold tight and improve the safety position.

27. Oakland Raiders (via Cowboys)- Alabama RB Josh Jacobs

Great value pick for Mike Mayock.

28. Los Angeles Chargers- Clemson DL Dexter Lawrence

Great pick for the Chargers.

29. Seattle Seahawks via (Kansas City Chiefs)- Oklahoma WR Marquise Brown

Doug Baldwin is getting older and always hurt.

30. Green Bay Packers (via Saints)- Mississippi State DL Jeffery Simmons

Watch out when he's healthy.

31. Los Angeles Rams- Notre Dame DL Jerry Tillery

The Rams continue to be strong on the d-line.

32. New England Patriots- Alabama TE Irv Smith Jr.

Gronk's gone, so the Pats get a brand-new TE.

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There's an elephant in the room when it comes to the Houston Texans. No, it's not Bill O'Brien. He's the ominous black cloud that hoovers over the whole building. That cloud is like a slow moving weather system that's constantly dumping rain and flooding the city. Eventually, it'll pass, we'll rebuild and recover from it.

It's not even the McNair family. Cal and Janice are the building itself. It exists, but needs people around and operating it in order for it to fully function. Sure, it could use some work. After all, it's almost twenty years old and could probably use a facelift. It happens when buildings age and are only taken care of or held to minimal standards.

The elephant in the room is Deshaun Watson. More specifically, his progress as a franchise/superstar quarterback. I've heard different people talk about this in one way, shape, form or whatever. AJ and Fred covered it on ESPN Houston's The Blitz. My friend @itsDanielBsr tweeted it and brought it up as well. There were others who talked about this topic, but these were the two places I encountered it in which I could pay closer attention.

When it comes to Watson, most people believe he's a great talent. However, there is a growing sentiment that it's time for him to take the next step. Watson turned 25 on September 14. He signed his four-year extension about a week before his birthday. When you're getting paid like a top quarterback and people recognize you as one of the better young quarterbacks, there comes a time when you need to poop or get off the pot.

When calling Watson to the carpet, people will call O'Brien into question. O'Brien is a factor in holding Watson back some. He's been the play-caller his whole time here in Houston up until this year when he allegedly turned it over to Tim Kelly. We've all seen how that has gone. O'Brien is also the general manager that traded away Watson's top target in DeAndre Hopkins. These type of things can hinder a young quarterback's growth and development, but at what point do we stop blaming O'Brien and start looking at Watson?

Some will point to the offensive line as a key factor as to why Watson isn't progressing. We've seen him escape sacks and create plays out of thin air. But when is it time to call him to the carpet for not going through his reads and/or making a check-down? He often escapes sacks and looks downfield, but should he be looking to scramble more often? Should he be reading progressions better? These intimate details are answers we won't ever get, but we hope we can understand that Watson is making his reads and decisions the way he's supposed to.

Whether it's his big extension, his bumbling idiot of a head coach, his lack of protection, or his lack of weapons, fans will eventually stop giving Watson a pass. Del said it best on ESPN Houston's The Bench: When will people stop bringing up Clemson when talking about Watson's greatness? NFL quarterbacks have their college career talked about in their rookie seasons. After that, it's all about what have you done for me lately. I sincerely hope Watson realizes his tremendous potential. He's a star now and a superstar in the making. The one thing that he needs is the success on the field that will catapult him into the upper echelon of the other top talents at his position. Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Pat Mahomes, Russell Wilson, and Lamar Jackson all have either a league MVP award and/or a Super Bowl ring. If Watson is to be mentioned in that rarefied air, he needs to start taking the necessary steps. The clock is ticking and people are watching. Your move Deshaun.

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