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Houston Texans 2015 NFL Draft Grades

Posted By: Chris Ransom on 5/25/2015

Houston Texans 2015 NFL Draft Grades

Chris Ransom grades the Houston Texans 2015 NFL Draft. Was drafting cornerback Kevin Johnson with the sixteenth pick a smart decision?

16. Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest C Grade

Kevin Johnson didn't fill a need. Taking Johnson here was a huge reach. The only reason you can defend this pick is because Jonathan Joseph is making $12 million this season. Joseph's contract is up in 2016.

43. Benardrick McKinney, 3-4 MLB, Mississippi State D Grade

Benardrick McKinney is a 4-3 linebacker with the versatility to play right outside linebacker, middle linebacker, or left outside linebacker in a 4-3. He's not a 3-4 guy. Even if he does succeed long-term, he will have a rough rookie season. I don't expect McKinney to make an immediate impact.

The only reason this pick did not get an F grade is because McKinney provides good value in the second round. I had McKinney going to the Minnesota Vikings in the second round two picks later.

70. Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State A+ Grade

How did the Texans get Jaelen Strong was a first round prospect. Strong had a minimum of 75 receptions and 1,100+ receiving yards in each of his past two seasons at Arizona State. His 82 receptions, 1,165 receiving yards, and 10 receiving touchdowns stood out in 2014 partially because his starting quarterback Taylor Kelly missed the first half of the season. Going every game in 2014 with either 100 receiving yards or 1 receiving touchdown is really impressive when you consider how Kelly missed action with an injury.

Sure, the Texans lost Andre Johnson. Signing Cecil Shorts in Free Agency and drafting Jaelen Strong in the third round should make up for it.

Strong has the hands, route running, speed, jumping, and ability to catch in traffic when it comes to being covered or double covered. The 6-2 217 lb receiver ran a 4.44 40 time at the 2015 NFL Combine.

Strong is a pretty complete receiver. The only reason he fell this was due to a wrist injury. Mike Mayock may have had Strong graded out as his 42nd best player, but he still fell way too far.

175. Keith McMumphery, WR, Michigan State F Grade

Keith McMumphery was the #2 receiver on Michigan State with Tony Lippett being the #1 receiver on the Spartans' depth chart. Taking McMumphery here makes no remote sense.

211. Reshard Cliett, 3-4 MLB, South Florida D- Grade

Reshard Cliett played 4-3 middle linebacker at South Florida. Basically the Texans are taking Cliett as a backup in case my prediction about McKinney comes true to justify taking McKinney in the second round.

Cliett can rush the passer and has the versatility to play right outside linebacker or left outside linebacker in a 4-3. Cliett is basically a backup version of McKinney.

216. Christian Covington, 3-4 RE, Rice D Grade

Christian Covington was a 4-3 defensive tackle at Rice, but he has the size of a 3-4 defensive end. Covington is also coming off a knee injury.

Houston already has an awesome 3-4 defensive line with Jared Crick at 3-4 right end, Vince Wilfork at nose tackle, and J.J. Watt at 3-4 left end.

Why did Houston add depth on the 3-4 defensive line after ignoring a critical need at strong safety? I believe that was a really poor choice by the Texans.

235. Kenny Hilliard, RB, LSU F Grade

Leonard Fournette was the starting running back at LSU. Kenny Hilliard is talented, but sucks compared to Fournette. I think drafting a #2 running back in College is stupid because the odds of him developing into a #1 running back after Arian Foster leaves are marginal at best.

Houston Texans Team Grade: D- Grade

Houston has the NFL's best cornerback tandem with Kareem Jackson and Jonathan Joseph. Joseph is in a contract year making over $12 million dollars after being a 2006 first round draft pick by the Cincinnati Bengals.

Houston signed Joseph in 2011 following a horrendous 2010 season by the Cincinnati Bengals. Joseph will turn 32 in April and his contract will be up in March. Maybe Houston is preparing for life without Joseph. Still, I feel like this pick was premature to an extent. If Joseph was 32 or 33 this would be understandable, but he's still pretty young at 31, so I don't get the idea of drafting Kevin Johnson as a replacement to Jonathan Joseph. Hopefully starting out at the nickel cornerback role will help.

Taking a nickel corner in the first round and then a 4-3 middle linebacker with no experience in the 3-4 in the second round was pretty foolish. Taking Jaelen Strong in third round was an awesome pick and that's what kept the Texans from receiving an F grade because the Texans drafted an abundance of third stringers and backups with their day 3 picks.

Houston Texans 2014 NFL Draft Grades

Posted By Chris Ransom on 5/11/2014

Chris Ransom breaks down the Texans 2014 NFL Draft grades.

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