Thursday, April 3, 2014

Handicapping the Texans first draft pick.

They say mock drafts are like assholes.  Everybody has one and they all stink.

OK, they don't say that but they should because the likelihood of any mock draft even coming in around a 30% accuracy rate for the first round (That's around 10 of 32 picks correct) is slim to none.

Still, companies keep churning them out with picks ranging from  Blake Bortles to Teddy Bridgewater to Johnny Manziel and so on. There are even Jadeveon Clowney proponents who feel that the Texans can find their quarterback of the future in later rounds.

I've long been a fan of the Texans trading the pick if possible, and getting more draft picks in the 2nd or 3rd rounds to shore up a roster that is long on verbal promises but short on overall talent. 

With that in mind, and the fact that trades make mock-drafts a little worthless, I think the best thing might be to handicap the potential top picks Sports Book style:

Player - Odds

Blake Bortles - 2/1: Of all the potential quarterbacks who are projected to go in the top 10, Bortles gained the most from his pro day.  On the heels of the Johnny F*****g Football rock concert, and Teddy Bridgewater's disaster against air, Bortles came out and looked the part.  That said, I don't like this pick because he reminds me much of a QB a couple of years prior who had "the best pro-day" some commentators have ever seen: Blaine Gabbert.  If you track Bortles' stats and compare them to Gabbert the two are eerily similar. Still, if the Texans can't (or won't) trade the pick and are bound and determined to select a QB I believe he is #1 on their list.

Jadeveon Clowney - 4/1: I'm putting Clowney this high based on two factors only: 1. He's the top player in the draft. 2. Coach Bill O'Brien has been more specific in his comments regarding Clowney than any other player.  If the Texans keep the 1st overall pick, I'd like to see them move this way.

Trade pick/Other - 10/1: As I stated earlier, I still think this is the way to go. The Texans are a team that has a serious talent deficit brought on by dodgy drafting, horrific salary cap management and simple change that occurs when a new coach is hired. Trading back, and grabbing a QB in a later round, would give the team a chance to try and plug numerous holes.

Johnny Manziel - 20/1: Oddly enough, were Kubiak still in charge I would probably make his odds lower.  However, given the Texans organizational DNA, JFF seems like too much of a reach for me to take the possibility too seriously. I realize that he's currently the flavor of the month and would be the favorite of (some) fans but I really think he's close to off the board for the group over at NRG stadium.  That said, I think out of the top 3 QB's, Manziel has the best chance of becoming a quality NFL quarterback.  I think either Cleveland or Jacksonville is going to be very happy with him.

Teddy Bridgewater - 30/1: Normally I don't put much stock in pro days.  They're scripted, well-rehearsed and nothing more than a fashion show and a chance for players to show that they're not 100% stupid.  That said, when a QB struggles as Bridgewater did against AIR you have to take a step back on wonder what is going on. He has always struck me as a man who is destined to be remembered as a good college QB with no pro-career.  That a mock draft or two is still predicting the Texans to take him at #1 is mystifying.

Other (Without trading pick) - 1000/1: Outside of the big 3 QB's and Clowney, I don't see anyone on the board that the Texans might seriously consider.  Yes, there was conversation surrounding Khalil Mack but I don't see the value at #1 overall for him.  That said, I do think he's going to be a monster NFL linebacker and will make someone in the 6-10 range very, very happy with their draft. The only other player worth mentioning is Jake Matthews of aTm and again, I just can't see him going #1.

Unfortunately, the draft is over a month away so I would call this: Texans handicapping round 1.  A lot can change (and will) before the selection is handed to Roger Goddell in New York.

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