2020 NFL Draft

The Texans 2020 Draft Class

With all the offseason player personnel moves, turmoil, and buffonery, it's finally come to an end. The draft is now over. Head coach, GM, master and ruler of all things on Kirby, Bill O'Brien had an okay draft. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't a homerun. I wrote about their first pick Ross Blacklock yesterday. Let's take a look at the rest of their 2020 draft class:

3rd Round #90 Overall: Jonathan Greenard, Edge, Florida

Jonathan Greenard

NFL.com

Listed as an EDGE in his NFL.com draft profile, Greenard lined in multiple outside rush positions. Whether he had his hand in the dirt, standing, left, or right side, he showed flashes in his time at Florida as well as in Louisville. His 40 time may scare some off as to his explosiveness, but pass rushers don't have to sprint 40 yards to get to the quarterback. At 6'3 and 263lbs, he has ridiculously long arms at 34 7/8 inches. Not sure if he'll start from day one, but if he shows any pass rush ability, he should considering this team's lack of a true pass rush presence outside J.J. Watt. I look forward to seeing what he and Blacklock can do to help this defense.

4th Round #126 Overall: Charlie Heck, T, North Carolina

Charlie Heck

NFL.com

Given the massive extention they gave Laremy Tunsil and 1st round pick invested in Tytus Howard, Heck was most likely a depth pick. At 6'8 and 311lbs, he's a very tall tackle and his 34 1/8 inch arm length is pretty good. Don't expect him to step in and play any time soon. If he does, it means one of the top two guys is hurt. By him being a coach's kid, dad is an offensive lineman coach in the league, he's been around the game long enough and should be well-versed. His draft profile gives you more insight as to the type of player he's projected to be.

4th Round #141 Overall: John Reid, CB, Penn State

John Reid

NFL.com

Reid is a smallish CB with decent speed, but I was more impressed with his 3 cone and shuttle drill times. Those show off agility and burst. His 4.49 40 was decent. His most impressive stat from the combine: 20 reps on the bench press. That isn't always indicative of playing strength, but impressive nonetheless. While I don't expect Reid to compete for much playing time initially, he may show enough moxy to warrant a few reps here and there. He fits the profile of a practice/effort guy, AKA the O'Brien type.

5th Round #171 Overall: Isaiah Coulter, WR, Rhode Island

Isaiah Coulter

NFL.com

At 6'2 198lbs and running a 4.45 40, Coulter has that size/speed combo often sought after in WRs. Although he played against lesser competition, Coulter showed enough to warrant a late round flyer with 72 catches for 1,039 yards and eight touchdowns last year. He has developmental traits which made him desirable according to his draft profile. The WR room is crowded as presently constructed. Look for Coulter to get some action if that room is cleared up some, especially given the injury history of some of the guys that are in there.

The best part of this draft was seeing O'Brien blow a gasket around the time he took Greenard. Rumor has it the Lions backed out of a trade and that caused him to blow up. Doing so while your kid is a few feet away and on national television is the most O'Brien thing he could've done. After his exchange with a fan and other incidents, you can no longer be surprised at his actions. Blacklock was a steal. Greenard may be a player. Heck seems like a smart guy and quality backup. Reid is a competitor and Coulter has some physical gifts. Nothing special. If Blacklock dominates like I think he can, he will make this draft class look a lot better than it does now. The lack of a 1st rounder made this draft, and next year's, more difficult to find top end talents. Until they have 1st round picks, look forward to more meh in the draft.

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The Rockets may be the smartest guys in the room. Or the cheapest

The Rockets have their new head coach. Composite photo by Brandon Strange

On Wednesday afternoon, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news that the Rockets' coaching search had come to an end finally. The front office tabbed Mavericks assistant Stephen Silas as the successor to Mike D'Antoni, beating out former Rockets head coach Jeff Van Gundy and current Rockets assistant John Lucas.

Knee jerk reaction?

I'm not mad at it. I expected Jeff Van Gundy to be the next hire, but maybe that was just nostalgia clouding my judgment. Either way, the Silas hire should be viewed optimistically. He's been highly regarded for some time around the league as an inventive mind that comes from basketball pedigree and has worked with big-name guards in prior stops around the league. If the Rockets didn't grab him, it was only a matter of time before another team gave him a shot.

Now there are two very distinct ways to look at this hire:

The first is that the Rockets, in spite of being one of the last teams to fill their coaching vacancy, are the smartest kids in the room. Every team is looking for the next version of what the Celtics found in their current head coach, Brad Stevens; a young brilliant coach that just needed a team to give him a shot. Hired at 37 from the college ranks, Stevens endured one losing season (his first) and has since guided the Celtics to six playoff appearances, to include three conference finals appearances. Not bad, considering he was up against LeBron James for most of those.

That is what it looks like the Rockets are trying to go for. Now at 47, Silas probably won't be mistaken for a wunderkind, but compared to 69-year-old D'Antoni, he might as well be announcing his hire on Tik Tok. If it works out, the Rockets will have once again been one step ahead of the league with the hiring of their innovative new coach.

The other way to look at the Silas hire is a little less rosy.

While Silas is only 47, he's also been an assistant in the league since he was 27. The positive spin on his resume is that he's worked with star players the likes of Kemba Walker, LeBron James, and Stephen Curry. The reality is that he worked with them while they were very young in their careers, and worked on teams like the Cavaliers, Bobcats/Hornets, Wizards, and Warriors (when they were bad). Until the last two seasons working with Luka Doncic on the Mavericks, there hasn't been a lot of success following Silas. That's not necessarily an indictment since he was an assistant, but it's not exactly a sparkling pedigree.

So while this could be a brilliant hire, at the moment, it has all of the markings of the cheaper hire. As I've mentioned before, Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta has been quite vocal about the financial impact that COVID-19 has had on his portfolio. Clips and quotes moaning and groaning about losing money are not typically precursors to an owner gearing up to make a big financial investment in the front office of a sports team that he can't sell tickets for anyone to come see. If in fact, money factored in more than fit, it would make sense that the Rockets would forego a coach like Van Gundy, whose previous head coaching experience would automatically command a higher starting price. We'll, of course, have to wait and see what the actual contract figures are once released.

It could be one. It could be the other. It could be both. Hopefully it translates into wins either way.

One thing that's for certain though is that Silas needs to take some pointers from Russell Westbrook and James Harden before he steps out courtside in any more of those TJ Maxx suits, circa 2000. Big boy job means big boy suits.

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