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

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.

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

The media has mixed feelings about the James Harden trade. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

James Harden was 100-percent exactly right earlier this week when he said the Houston Rockets were "just not good enough."

How could they be? Not when their moody superstar scorer, who makes about half a million dollars per game, shows up chubby, looking like a kielbasa about to explode in the microwave. Hey, some people eat when they're unhappy, it's a defense mechanism. In Harden's case, the only defense he's exhibited this season. At least he had a good excuse for missing pre-season training camp and alienating his teammates - he was busy partying with Cinnamon and Cherish in Atlanta and Vegas without a mask. Worst of all, he went into the tank his last four games in a Rockets uniform, standing around, arms folded, scoring fewer than 20 points each time, all Rockets losses. Fans in the front row were asking him to move, he was blocking their view of players who cared about winning. James Harden sabotaged his own team, a team that offered him $50 million a year to stay. Something that crazy could only happen in professional sports these days.

There's a saying that drives the American labor movement: "a fair day's wage for a fair day's work." It's the motto of the American Federation of Labor. The National Basketball Players Association is not a member. Harden's sulking on the court, cheating the Rockets and their fans, was unforgivable.

Harden, sitting out games while somehow being on the court, forced the Rockets to trade him - and quick - to Brooklyn. The trade, when you ignore the fine print and unindicted co-conspirators Cleveland and Indiana, sent Harden to Brooklyn in exchange for Caris LeVert (immediately flipped for Victor Oladipo), Jarrett Allen, three first-round draft picks and four swapped first-rounders. It's true, when you trade a superstar, you never get back equal value. The other team wins.

If it makes Rockets fans feel any better, the media in New York already has problems with their new problem child. I should say newest problem child. Kyrie Irving plays for the Nets.

"They (the Nets) gave up everybody! There's nothing left now. I just want to cry, It's awful," weeped WFAN Radio talk host Evan Roberts. For those who don't subscribe to weekly Arbitron ratings reports, WFAN is the most powerful, top-rated sports talk station in the Apple.

"You're leading down the road of doom. Harden and Durant could be gone in a year and a half. I'm not convinced this gives them a better chance to win a title. I'm living a nightmare again. They better freaking win."

Circle March 3 on your Rockets schedule. That's when the Brooklyn Nets, with their Big 3 of Kevin Durant, James Harden and possibly Kyrie Irving visit Toyota Center. I hear talk radio salivating over the record jeers that will cascade over Harden's name, although I'm not buying it. Fans don't think like the media does. I'm thinking that Rockets fans will welcome Harden back - one night only - with cheers.

Toyota Center public address announcer Matt Thomas: "Usually when former Rockets come to town for the first time since leaving, I give them a positive introduction. It's up to the fans how to react."

James Harden spent eight seasons with the Rockets. He is a spectacular player who watched other NBA players engineer trades so they could compete for a title. Harden didn't think the Rockets were good enough, and he's right. So he wanted out. We've all been there, a job we didn't like for a company we didn't like, for a boss we didn't respect. Harden wanting to be traded is understandable. How he went about it was deplorable. He hurt his co-workers.

Houston will make Harden pay for his disrespectful departure. He has an upscale restaurant set to open here. The name of the steakhouse will be "13." Harden's business partners may want to change that number ... before the restaurant's telephone number is disconnected. There are plenty of other restaurants in Houston. Rich people who can afford steakhouse prices hold grudges.

Rockets fans searching for a silver lining say, "We got two decent players and a whole bunch of precious first-round picks" for a malcontent who would rather be anywhere (except maybe Sacramento) than Houston." Yes, a bunch of first-round picks does bode well for the future. Anywhere, except maybe Houston.

Houston's draft war room isn't the most successful operation in the NBA. Over the past decade prior to 2000, under the direction of general manager Daryl Morey, the Rockets made 16 draft picks. Not one of them is still in a Rockets uniform, many of them have sought employment outside of America, some outside of basketball. Among their first-round whiffs: Nikola Mirotic, Terrence Jones, Sam Dekker - all out of the league. Best of all, Royce White, who played three whole games in his NBA career and finished with a scoring average of 0.00 points per game.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome