AND THE HOUSTON TEXANS SELECT...

Josh Jordan's mock draft 1.0

Alabama RB Josh Jacobs. Photo via: Alabama/Facebook

It's that time of year again and now that the NFL Combine is over, it's time to start all the mock drafts. The Houston Texans have the 23rd pick, so let's take a look at how the draft board might stack up.

1. Arizona Cardinals- OU QB Kyler Murray

Kliff Kingsbury, Kyler Murray

Murray is a great fit in Kingsbury's offense.

Composite photo by Brandon Strange

Kingsbury gets his QB and the Cardinals move on from Josh Rosen.

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

49ers get some help rushing the passer, and this guy will make an immediate impact.

3. New York Jets- Kentucky Edge Josh Allen

The Jets add Josh Allen to help get after the QB.

4. Oakland Raiders- Alabama DL Quinnen Williams

Williams made a huge splash at the Combine and the Raiders take the best player on the board.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Michigan DE Rashan Gary

The Bucs need some help on the edge, and they get exactly that with Gary.

6. New York Giants- Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins

Haskins is sitting there for the taking at #6.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars- Mississippi State DE Montez Sweat

The Jags need to get their defense back to dominance, and a pass rusher just might do the trick. This dude can RUN!

8. Detroit Lions- LSU LB Devin White

Matt Patricia gets a playmaker at linebacker, and he's fast too.

9. Buffalo Bills- Washington State OT Andre Dillard

The Bills have to address the offensive line and protect their young QB.

10. Denver Broncos- Florida OT Jawaan Taylor

Corner might be an option, but right tackle Jared Veldheer is a free agent in 2020, and they have to protect Flacco.

11. Cincinnati Bengals- Oklahoma OT Cody Ford

12. Green Bay Packers- Iowa TE Noah Fant

13. Miami Dolphins- Duke QB Daniel Jones

14. Atlanta Falcons- Alabama OT Jonah Williams

15. Washington Redskins- Missouri QB Drew Lock

16. Carolina Panthers- NCST OL Garrett Bradbury

17. Cleveland Browns- Ole Miss WR D.K. Metcalf

18. Minnesota Vikings- Michigan LB Devin Bush

19. Tennessee Titans- Clemson DL Christian Wilkins

20. Pittsburgh Steelers- Oklahoma WR Marquise Brown

21. Seattle Seahawks- Clemson Edge Clelin Ferrell

22. Baltimore Ravens- Ohio State WR Parris Campbell

23. Houston Texans- LSU CB Greedy Williams

The Texans would love to take an offensive tackle, but they're desperately in need of help at corner too. I believe that all the tackles worth taking will be gone by the time the Texans pick, so they get a stud corner and a steal with Williams.

24. Oakland Raiders (via Bears)- Florida State Edge Brian Burns

25. Philadelphia Eagles- Washington CB Byron Murphy

26. Indianapolis Colts- Houston DL Ed Oliver

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

28. Los Angeles Chargers- Clemson DL Dexter Lawrence

29. Kansas City Chiefs- Temple CB Rock Ya-Sin

30. Green Bay Packers (via Saints)- Kansas State OL Dalton Risner

31. Los Angeles Rams- Georgia CB Deandre Baker

32. New England Patriots- Iowa TE T.J. Hockenson


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The clock is ticking. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

If he is indeed to become an ex-Astro George Springer can officially sign with his new team starting at four PM Houston time this Sunday. Michael Brantley the same. All free agents can sign contracts starting Sunday afternoon. If the die isn't cast that Springer is leaving, it certainly feels like his renewing vows with the Astros would be an upset.

The Astros will make Springer a 18.9 million dollar qualifying offer for 2021. He will of course reject that because contract offers of at least five years and over 100 million dollars likely await. Should Springer move on the Astros would then get a compensatory draft pick. Brantley won't get anything in close range of Springer's haul-to-be but still should at least get multiyear offers. The Astros should make the qualifying offer to Brantley (if they don't they forfeit any compensation for his departure). If they don't out of fear that he'd accept the one-year deal, the Astros would look lame. I don't think it comes to that. Losing Springer would be a huge blow on multiple levels, but if somehow they were to keep Brantley while getting back Yordan Alvarez at even 80 percent of his rookie performance level the Astros' lineup would look to be in decent shape.

With MLB's economic outlook shaky for 2021, it's unreasonable to say Jim Crane and his partners should give Springer whatever he wants. A six or seven year megadollar contract for a 31-year-old player with some durability questions on his resume is an iffy proposition. At the same time, the Astros have been quite profitable in recent years (before 2020), and Crane said over the summer the Astros were positioned to be "aggressive, whatever the market looks like." 13 million Josh Reddick dollars are off the books for 2021, 10 mil of Roberto Osuna is gone. After next year more than 57 mil of Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke clear.

MLB's postseason awards will be doled out over the next couple weeks but for the first time in years the Astros don't have a credible candidate for any of the big ones (MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year). The Astros do have three American League Gold Glove finalists. I think Carlos Correa wins the shortstop honor. Correa had a weak regular season at the plate but his defense was stellar, plus the two guys who divvied up the last four AL SS Gold Gloves (Francisco Lindor and Andrelton Simmons) had down seasons and aren't finalists. Quick: name the teams of fellow finalists J.P. Crawford and Niko Goodrum. Hard to see either winning over Correa. Yuli Gurriel and Kyle Tucker were also named top three at their positions. For the first time the finalist selections were driven entirely by stats and analytics.

Big week for the Rockets

With the Rockets settling on Stephen Silas as their new Head Coach, that hire coupled with the in house promotion of Rafael Stone to General Manager makes it appear as though owner Tilman Fertitta is doing more things on the cheap. The NBA economic environment is challenging and huge portions of the rest of Fertitta's portfolio are submerged in a COVID-driven bloodbath. Silas has paid his dues for a good while and most recently worked under the outstanding Rick Carlisle in Dallas. He has earned a lead chair opportunity. But with no prior head coaching experience and no bidding war for his services, Silas signs on at a much lower rate than, say, Jeff Van Gundy would have commanded. Former head coaches (and former Rockets' player rivals of the 90s) Jeff Hornacek and Nate McMillan would make for two strong Silas assistants. From their playing days if you combined Hornacek's offense and McMillan's defense into one player you'd have one of the top 20 or so greatest guards in NBA history.

Silas and Stone take the reins at a challenging time for the Rockets with their messy salary cap sheet, reduced draft capital, and one of the oldest core player groups in the league. Polite public statements aside, it's part of why Daryl Morey left. Maybe Mike D'Antoni too though that seemed more about feeling disrespected by the lack of a contract extension before this past season. D'Antoni may have overplayed his hand since he did not get fill any of the coaching vacancies elsewhere in the NBA. Only Oklahoma City remains open, and D'Antoni has gotten no run there.

Buzzer Beaters:

1. It seems sadly appropriate that the first meaningful positive in the Texans' 2020 season came in form of a COVID test result.

2. If we all commit to getting through it together, I think we can get by without a Texans' game this weekend. Remember, it's their open week, not a bye!

3. One hit wonder goodbye songs: Bronze-Terry Jacks "Seasons in the Sun" Silver-Norman Greenbaum "Spirit In The Sky" Gold-Steam "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye"

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