A look at the selections

Lance Zierlein's analysis of the Texans later picks

Lance Zierlein's breakdown of the Texans second-day draft picks:



​Lonnie Johnson, CB, Kentucky

Round: 2 Pick: 54

Strengths

  • Exceptional size for the position
  • Long arms dangle down his side
  • Offers up a stiff jab to stall receiver's release near goal line
  • Fluid feet in early stages of mirror-and-match from press or off-man
  • Lateral transitions are fluid
  • Adequate eye balance between high/low routes from zone
  • Shows flashes of aggression to become better in run support
  • Dangerous off the edge as kick blocker

Weaknesses

  • Lacks consistent competitive nature
  • Motor runs hot and cold in run support
  • Content to allow catches in front of him without squeezing the route
  • No interceptions and only eight passes defensed over two years
  • Rarely finds football once back is to the passer
  • Slow to gather feet and trigger on throws from off coverage
  • Lacks top-end makeup speed to run down mistakes
  • Below-average route anticipation to stay connected

Who he is:

Long and tall with physical traits galore, Johnson looks the part but lacks the consistency and ball skills expected of a starting NFL cornerback at times on tape. He has had issues with allowing catches and touchdowns when his back is to the ball and his ball production was very disappointing over the last two years. Some position coaches believe that his issues can be corrected with coaching. If it's not corrected, it will require changes in coverage scheme.

On the other end of the spectrum, he's extremely long and strong from press. At the Senior Bowl he suffocated receivers from press coverage rep after rep and pushed himself way up with evaluators. He is willing as tackler in run support. Johnson's combination of size, strength and speed could create an opportunity to step right into a starter's role opposite Johnathan Joseph, but the going will likely be bumpy when the ball is in the air for at least the first season as he adjusts and learns.

Max Scharping, OT, Northern Illinois

Round: 2 Pick: 55

Strengths

  • Has experience at both left and right tackle
  • High achiever in the classroom and said to pick up info quickly
  • Tall with well-proportioned mass and thickly muscled arms
  • Adequate ability to mirror
  • Changes pass-set depth and landmarks based upon opponent's speed
  • Plays to his length with consistent arm extension to neutralize edge
  • Inside post-hand stabs and thwarts inside moves
  • Possesses mass potential and power to become grinder as run blocker
  • Fits and drives through down blocks to clear the run lane of debris
  • Choppy steps and good base width as base blocker

Weaknesses

  • Pass-protection fundamentals in need of improvement
  • Comes out of stance with weight too far outside
  • Quick to open outside shoulder in pass sets, exposing an inside path
  • Pass slides feature long gallops rather than choppy, controlled feet
  • Fear of edge speed could make him succeptiable to inside counters
  • Needs to eliminate hitch before striking with his wide, outside hand
  • Late hands get challenged and discarded, forcing re-sets
  • Has a tendency to linger too long on first block on combos and twists
  • Doesn't sustain run blocks like he should

Who he is

He played left tackle this season but will bump over to right tackle where he is more comfortable. Scharping has a good combination of size and functional athletic ability, but there is work to be done in his pass protection. While he's shown the ability to handle bull rushers with a stiff inside hand and quality recovery talent around the edge, He tends to open his outside shoulder too early and his pass sets become hurried and unfocused against edge speed.

However, keep this in mind…. in his matchup against Florida State's Brian Burns, Scharping was outstanding at keeping Burns away from his quarterback and stymieing Burns' edge speed while preventing any inside counters. Scharping has potential in the running game but need more reps with his hand in the ground and firing out into opponents. He could compete for early reps, but I'm expecting him to learn in practice for the better part of the year. Then again, when is the last time Seantrell Henderson stayed healthy?

Kahale Warring, TE, San Diego State

Round: 3. Pick: 86

Strengths

  • Chiseled, athletic frame with very good size
  • Has blocking toughness and just needs to improve technique
  • Snaps hands and hips into engagement
  • Good radar in space as move-blocker
  • Races off snap and into seam with plus acceleration
  • Early speed to lose linebackers
  • Nifty, quick feet for sharp directional change in routes
  • Talented to work all three levels as receiver
  • Former basketball player and it shows
  • Able to post up defenders and win body positioning
  • Sudden leaper with springs to win at the high-point
  • Makes mid-air ball adjustments
  • Ability to run past or drag tacklers after catch
Weaknesses
  • Needs to improve his landmarks as run-blocker
  • Slow-starter getting into lateral blocks and loses positioning
  • Inconsistent hands as base-blocker
  • Needs to improve timing on work-up blocks
  • Still relatively inexperienced with modest career production
  • Not as clever in setting up route breaks as he could be
  • Will need to work quicker and be more sudden with red zone work
  • Dropped too many easy catches in 2018

Charles Omenihu, DL, Texas

Round 5: Pick: 161.

Strengths

  • NFL-ready frame with long limbs, broad shoulders and muscular legs
  • Has punch to rattle the pads when he gets off first
  • Length to lock out on tackles and tight ends when setting an edge
  • Above-average play strength should translate into NFL improvement vs
  • the run
  • Explodes with some twitch out of his stance
  • Usually one of the first defenders off the ball and up the field
  • Better edge attack than expected once he commits
  • Ankle flexibility allows for rip-and-bend edge move
  • Batters the tackle's outside hand with angry two-hand swipes
  • Has leg drive to plow through redirection by tackles.
Weaknesses
  • Movement tends to be mechanical and rigid
  • Below-average tackle radius
  • Change of direction is chopped and exaggerated
  • Unable to hold ground with sturdy inside post against most angle blocks
  • Body control and balance are blow par for interior action
  • Inconsistent hand usage, limiting ability to control point of attack
  • Limited gas tank hinders pursuit effectiveness on extended plays
  • Pass rush is more telegraphed than instinctive
  • Struggles to alter his rush path in response to mobile quarterbacks.

Xavier Crawford, CB, Central Michigan

Round: 6. Pick: 195.

Strengths

  • Patience from press
  • Can shadow release or pedal out
  • Waits out release declaration and opens on time
  • Smooth to turn and run
  • Route magnet with agile feet and swivel hips
  • Able to withstand sharp, complex routes
  • Usually in position to challenge the catch
  • Allowed under 40 percent completion rate this year
  • Sticky feet able to collect and squeeze the comebacks and shallow crossers
  • Shows pace in cover-3 bail to retain proper spacing near receiver
  • Not fast, but has a makeup gear
Weaknesses
  • Slightly built frame
  • Plays strength to challenge NFL size in question
  • Missed seven games in 2017 due to back injury while at Oregon St
  • Good ball skills short, but average when deep
  • Average long speed
  • Slow to turn head and find the football Can be stacked and shunned by big boys targets
  • Loss of coverage leverage can be exploited in pros
  • Sits back in run support and takes passive angles
  • Blocks tend to stick to him

Cullen Gillaspia, RB, Texas A&M

Round: 7. Pick: 220.

Strengths

  • Plays like his hair is on fire at all times
  • Doesn't come off field as core special teamer
  • Impressive speed to get out in front of wide stretch plays
  • Has athletic tools to improve as a blocker
  • Showed better radar as blocker by South Carolina game
  • Soft hands out of the backfield
  • Able to add yards after catch
  • Stands in and gets after it in pass protection
Weaknesses
  • Instincts as lead blocker need a ton of improvement
  • Slow to process moving pieces and pick out his target
  • Play can be scattered and out-of-control
  • Poor gather and strike in open field
  • Struggles to adjust to moving targets
  • Lacks thump in the hole
  • Loses leverage with elevated pad level into contact
  • Doesn't bring feet under him at contact and bounces off blocks

Editor's note: Lance's analysis of all the Texans picks first appeared on NFL.com, where you can find all of his terrific draft coverage.

Every-Thing Sports

Post-draft Texans fan freak out...or not

Brian Gaine had a decent draft. Houstontexans.com

Last week, I wrote about the Texans needing to draft more out of need as opposed to best player available. That came about after watching the roster moves they made and didn't make in free agency. Lance Zierlein brought up a good point on their morning show when he stated that by the Texans continuing to sign less free agents than they lose, it keeps them eligible for compensatory draft picks.

The draft came a few days after the article, and to form, the Texans drafted out of need instead of adding quality depth. I'd say five of their seven selections were done because of need: two offensive linemen, two defensive backs, and a tight end. Defensive end Charles Omenihu and fullback Cullen Gallaspia were guys who added depth at their positions, but weren't necessarily needs. Defensive end is a position they have decent players at, and they've never really carried a fullback. However, the fifth and seventh rounds aren't rounds you typically take quality depth guys. Those rounds are reserved for special teamers and/or taking a flyer on a guy for various reasons. Cody Stoots wrote a very good in-depth look at the Texans 2019 draft class. If you're looking for info on these guys, some film, analysis of their skillsets, and even some fun tidbits, I suggest reading his article.

What I want to focus on here are the fan freak outs. Fan reactions after drafts have always been a range of emotions. Some fans will act as if this is the worst draft class ever and the team will take years to recover. Some will think the team just drafted three future All-Pros and maybe a Hall of Famer that will lead them to several Super Bowl wins. Others will take more of a mild mannered approach. The proper response is to wait and see. Unless you're a Giants fan. In that case this year, it is totally OK to freak out and think your team has been set back several years.

I've noticed a range with Texans fans. Social media tends to bring out the worst in people, especially when it comes to sports and/or politics. Texans fan reactions have ranged from "Why did we take another project offensive linemen? We could've taken ___ instead!", to "I love this pick! I think he's going to anchor the line for years to come!," to "Meh. Let's see what they do when it's time to play."

I must say, I'm pretty damn proud of Texans fans this year for not going too overboard. Taking the wait and see approach is best. Draft classes take about two to three years to tell whether or not they were good. Instant draft grades only tell you the opinion of the person giving the grade as it relates to what their perceived needs for that team were before the draft started and how it relates to the players they took. For the most part, Texans fans have more fallen into the "love/like" or "meh" categories. I think they're happy that there were some needs filled, but are skeptical as to how well the players will be able to fill those roles. In years past, Texans fans have freaked out big time. Mario Williams, JJ Watt, and Duane Brown are the most famous freak out picks. Jadeveon Clowney and Andre Johnson were two picks the fans seemed to love universally.

This growth and maturity as a fan base should be met with some production by the team and the front office. When a fan base shows a level of maturity and wises up, it can often leave your team high and dry if you can't produce winning results. I'd love to see the day when fans start protesting with their money and force ownership to make some actual changes. But I'd rather see this team start winning and giving those fans something to celebrate and give me more interesting things to write about.

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