Each Wednesday night is draft show night for Texans All-Access radio. I use that hour to focus on the 2017 NFL Draft, talking all things about that upcoming draft in late April. Prior to the end of the show, I ask for questions from the audience, and by audience, I mean “hit me up on Twitter @jharrisfootball.” A ton of you did just that, such that I can’t answer all the questions in an hour, much less a segment, so I figured I could expand on some of the overflow questions here in my breakfast article.
From @txTstr (Boyd)
Q: John, why don't we hear more about LB needs for the Texans, and specifically my fav Tyus Bowser just down the road at UofH?
A: Boyd is one of the most inquisitive and opinionated Twitter followers I have, and this was a good one. I do think there are more pressing needs on this team than at linebacker, at this point, but it’s not something that can be ignored from a depth perspective.
Bowser’s athleticism is eye-popping and he would fit at outside linebacker tomorrow. He’s chiseled from granite and I found that out talking to him at the Senior Bowl. I don’t think it’s outside the realm of possibility that the Texans look at Bowser in some way, shape or form, but it’ll have to be within the first three rounds, at a minimum. He’s gone after that, in my opinion.
From @yoga...okay, I can’t really finish this twitter name
Q: Will the Texans seriously be looking at Mahomes???
A: I don’t see why not. I’d imagine after yesterday and the trade of Brock Osweiler to Cleveland, nothing is off the table. Well, even before that, but the search for the present and the future is always ongoing until that man is found.
Look, there are no perfect fits, especially at that position in this draft, but Mahomes has something special. Yes, he will make some mistakes and throw into coverage, but then again, I’ve seen every single quarterback in this draft do that at some point. Every. Single. One. Mahomes’ dad was an MLB pitcher and young Mahomes spent a ton of time around the clubhouse, learning about being a professional. I’m a huge fan of his, warts and all.
Q: Any safeties we’re looking at? Favorites?
A: Again, after yesterday (losing Quentin Demps to Chicago), I’d imagine that safety does step up a bit in the priority order and this is a great draft, on paper, for that position. Having played safety, I’m always looking at that position. I think Jabrill Peppers (Michigan) could be an interesting chess piece, even though there are probably better overall safeties alongside him (not many as complete football players, though). But, he could learn and grow in this defense and be used in a multitude of ways on this team.
Obi Melifonwu (UConn) is a physical specimen and I think he can do anything at safety that he’s asked. When I ran into him at the Senior Bowl, I was struck by his size and length. Then, I saw that translate on the field. He has extensive range and will strike when he comes up to make tackles. He’s still a bit raw but he’s moldable clay for this defense.
Marcus Williams (Utah) has as much range as anyone in this class. Budda Baker (Washington) is a serious playmaker, but he’s not big. Josh Jones (NC State) is big, can run and is more your traditional strong safety type. Tedric Thompson (Colorado) has some serious range in the middle of the field.
Now, I haven’t mentioned Malik Hooker (Ohio State) and Jamal Adams (LSU) because both will be long gone by the time the Texans are on the clock.
Q: ILB that Texans should look at that won’t go in the first round?
A: The only ILB that I think will go in the first round are Reuben Foster (Alabama) and Haason Reddick (Temple), although he’s more of a combination linebacker than true inside backer.
Raekwon McMillan (Ohio State) tested better than most expected but he’s probably at the top of the second round. Jarrad Davis (Florida) was banged up for most of 2016 and it showed in his play. But, I loved what he did on the field in 2015.
An underrated, late round guy that I love to watch, man, he’s fun to watch, is Blair Brown (Ohio). This cat will knock a ball carrier into next week, if he’s not careful.
Another one is Connor Harris (Lindenwood). He ended up with 600 tackles in his career and is built like a Sherman tank. He’s instinctive and powerful and has a nose for the football.
Q: What Combine players forced you to go back and look on tape, good or bad?
A: This is such a great question, because this is really what the NFL combine should force you to do. Going into the event, you have an idea how most guys will run and test, but then a guy that you think will run well runs in the 4.66 range. Or, some guy in your region that you didn’t know much about runs 4.3 and it sends you back to find out more about him. I call that the “Johnny Knox Corollary”. Knox was a little known receiver from Abilene Christian who got an invite to the combine and then blazed his 40 in the 4.3 range. A few scouts that I knew then went back to ACU to find out more about Knox and the unheralded receiver ended up getting drafted in the 5th round.
I didn’t expect Teez Tabor (Florida) to run 4.3 but I didn’t expect him to run in the mid-4.6 range. That was disappointing, in that, I think his 2016 was better than a lot of people thought. Thing is, I’ve seen him play much faster than that and that’s ultimately what’s most important.
The flip side is Jalen Myrick (Minnesota). He intrigued me at Minnesota, but I didn’t watch a ton of Gopher film after the 2016 season. After he ran 4.28, I ran upstairs and found a couple of Gopher on my hard drive. Yes, I have a hard drive... oh, forget it.
Robert Davis (Georgia State) is a 6-3, 220 lb. receiver that put on a show and intrigued the heck out of me, although I don’t think the Texans will look at a young receiver given the number of 2nd and 3rd year players already on the roster. But, wow, what a specimen.