AND THE HOUSTON TEXANS SELECT...

Josh Jordan's mock draft 4.0: The Oliver twist

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

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

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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Allen had high praise for Diggs. Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images.

Impersonal as it might seem to have their dynamic on-field relationship end with an exchange of phone texts, Bills quarterback Josh Allen made it clear on Thursday how much receiver Stefon Diggs meant to him during their four seasons together in Buffalo.

Allen made no mention of Diggs’ mercurial temperament or the occasional sideline flare-ups by expressing only praise in his first opportunity to discuss his now-former teammate being traded to the Houston Texans earlier this month.

“Just thanking him for everything that he did for me, and (I’ll) always have a spot in my heart for him. I’ll always love that guy like a brother. And I wish him nothing but the best,” Allen said, in disclosing what he texted to Diggs. “My lasting memory of Stef will be the receiver that helped me become the quarterback that I am today.”

Brought together in March 2020, when Buffalo gave up a first-round draft pick to acquire Diggs in a trade with Minnesota, the duo went on to re-write many of Buffalo's single-season passing and scoring records, and lead the team to four straight AFC East titles.

Diggs, now 30, also brought an inescapable sense of drama with him in raising questions about his commitment to the Bills and whether his tight relationship with Allen had soured.

A day before being traded, Diggs posted a message, “You sure?” on the social media platform X in response to someone suggesting he wasn’t essential to Allen’s success.

Whatever hard feelings, if any, lingered as Buffalo opened its voluntary workout sessions this week were not apparent from Allen or coach Sean McDermott, who also addressed reporters for the first time since Diggs was traded.

“Stef’s a great player, really enjoyed our time together. Won a lot of games and he was a huge factor in winning those games. We’ll miss him,” McDermott said. “You never replace a player like Stef Diggs, and we wish him well.”

Allen turned his focus to the future and a Bills team that spent much of the offseason retooling an aging and expensive roster.

Aside from trading Diggs, salary cap restrictions led to Buffalo cutting respected center Mitch Morse, the breakup of a veteran secondary that had been together since 2017, and the team unable to afford re-signing No. 2 receiver Gabe Davis.

“I don’t think it’s a wrong thing or a bad thing to get younger,” said Allen, entering his seventh NFL season. “I think it’s an opportunity for myself to grow as a leader. And to bring along some of these young guys and new guys that we’ve brought in to our team. And that’s an opportunity, frankly, that I’m very excited about."

Despite the departures, the Bills offense is not exactly lacking even though general manager Brandon Beane is expected to target selecting a receiver with his first pick — currently 28th overall — in the draft next week.

Receiver Khalil Shakir enters his third year and tight end Dalton Kincaid enter his second following promising seasons. Buffalo also added veteran experience in signing free agent receiver Curtis Samuel and Mack Hollins.

While Beane acknowledged the Bills lack a true No. 1 receiver, he noted there’s less urgency to fill that spot now than in 2020 because of how much the offense has developed under Allen.

“Now that Josh has ascended to the player he is, is that a requirement? I don’t think so,” Beane said.

Diggs’ role also began diminishing in the second half of last season, which coincided with Joe Brady replacing Ken Dorsey as offensive coordinator. Brady placed an emphasis on adding balance to a pass-heavy attack and getting more receivers involved, which led to an uptick in production for Shakir and Kincaid.

While Diggs’ numbers dropped, Buffalo’s win total increased.

With the Bills at 6-6, Diggs ranked third in the NFL with 83 catches, seventh with 969 yards and tied for third with eight TDs receiving. Buffalo then closed the season with five straight wins in which Diggs combined for 24 catches for 214 yards and no scores.

”(Diggs) meant a lot. You look at the statistics, they don’t lie,” Allen said, in referring to Diggs topping 100 catches and 1,000 yards in each of his four seasons in Buffalo. “I don’t get paid to make changes on the team. I get paid to be the best quarterback that I can be and try to lead the guys on this team.”

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