The Texans address key needs in multiple ways with this draft

Texans 7-round mock draft

Buffalobills.com

The Texans have seven picks in the upcoming draft as it stands right now. The way I approached this is rankings to assess how likely these players are available where the Texans pick, guesses on what some other teams would do, and my runs through a couple of mock draft simulators. I also weighed anything I have heard myself about various picks/players a little heavier than rumors.

First Round - 23rd Overall - Andre Dillard OT Washington State

I have been pushing Dillard for the Texans for a while now. They need some help for him or Oklahoma's Cody Ford to get here. The lust for quarterbacks helps them in this quest. Teams will likely be moving up for the three or four quarterbacks so that helps push offensive linemen down the board. Any pass rusher, tight end, or wideout helps the Texans get to this point. If there is no Dillard or Ford, a trade back a few spots with Dalton Riser from Kansas State and Kaleb McGary from Washington as the targets.

Second Round - 54th Overall - Julian Love CB Notre Dame

This guy feels like a Texans style of cornerback. He had a ton of impact at Notre Dame and the Irish defense fell apart without him in the college football playoff. He feels a little like a Johnathan Joseph in that his physical ability isn't going to blow you away but you trust the smarts and intelligence to get him near the ball. One NFL comparison for him was Ronde Barber. Love isn't the top corner on anyone's board, but he should be available for the Texans.

Second Round - 55th Overall - Tytus Howard OT Alabama State

I was tempted to put Texas A&M's Erik McCoy here but ultimately adding Howard as the team's swing tackle and future right tackle is too attractive to pass up. Likely an "overdraft" but there should be other tackles coming off the board forcing the Texans into this spot. This pick is hard to peg because it is unknown how the Texans are stacking the tackle board. I would guess tackle is a safe bet and if not tackle perhaps another spot on the offensive line.

Third Round - 86th Overall - Darrell Henderson RB Memphis

The Texans have checked in on Henderson a couple of times. He's a home run hitter and was amazing for Memphis this past season. He would push D'Onta Foreman and would take over for Lamar Miller at the end of the season. There could be other positions addressed but they could be reaches at this spot. Why not help solidify a position that has lacked talent recently.

Fifth Round - 161 Overall - Kingsley Keke DL Texas A&M

It seems likely Keke would be here but regardless of he is or not the Texans should shoot for another late-round defensive lineman success a la D.J. Reader. Maybe a safety here as well but let's look for the replacement for Christian Covington.

Sixth Round - 195th Overall - Ryan Bates OG Penn State

You know how much the Texans love versatility. Well, how about a former college tackle who will likely play guard and maybe center in the NFL? You can do a lot worse than someone to push the current offensive line at this spot.

Seventh Round - 220 Overall - Xavier Crawford CB Central Michigan

He might not be here in the seventh round as I have seen him as high as a fifth rounder but if he is, snatch him up. He was a standout on the worst team in college football. Literally one of the few bright spots. He would add some solid competition to the cornerback room.

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Houston now focused on postseason

Altuve and Correa homer, Astros drop final regular-season game

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

With no playoff impact at stake if the Astros won or lost the game, Houston took Sunday's final regular-season game as a chance to get their lineup a few more at-bats before shifting focus to Tuesday's first game of the post-season. Here is a quick recap of the game against the Rangers:

Final Score: Rangers 8, Astros 4.

Record: 29-31, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Wes Benjamin (2-1, 4.84 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Chase De Jong (0-1, 14.73 ERA).

Houston's main bats get a final tune-up

Knowing they'd only have a couple of at-bats to work with, some of Houston's big bats took advantage, starting with Jose Altuve. He crushed a pitch in the top of the first, a solo homer to put the Astros in front 1-0. After the Rangers tied the game 1-1 in the bottom of the second, Altuve started the third with a walk before moving to third base on a Michael Brantley single, which improved Brantley's season average to .300.

Aledmys Diaz would pick up the RBI on a groundout to score Altuve, putting Houston back in front 2-1. In Correa's last at-bat in the top of the fourth, he extended the lead to 3-1 with a solo home run of his own.

Rangers hand Astros a loss to end the regular season

After getting the early run against Chase De Jong, the Rangers would put together a big inning against him in the fourth. After two one-out singles, Rougned Odor would give Texas their first lead of the day on a three-run homer to make it 4-3.

De Jong would continue to struggle in the inning, getting just one more out while loading the bases, prompting a move to the bullpen to bring in Nivaldo Rodriguez to try and eat up more innings. The Rangers greeted him with a two-RBI single to extend their lead to 6-3 before ending the fourth. Odor would hit his second home run of the game in the bottom of the fifth, a solo shot to make it a four-run lead at 7-3.

Rodriguez allowed another run in the bottom of the seventh, making it 8-3. Diaz, who drove in a run earlier, would account for another RBI in the top of the eighth, getting Houston's third solo homer of the day. That would make it an 8-4 game, which would go final as the Rangers would win the regular season's last game.

Up Next: Houston's first game of the playoffs will be on Tuesday, with the start time and opponent TBD while the rest of today's games wrap up, and the schedule is announced. Regardless, the Astros are expected to begin that best-of-three series with Zack Greinke (3-3, 4.03 ERA).

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