Bucs Nation has selected WR Julio Jones out of Alabama for the Washington Redskins. This gives the Skins a much needed boost on offense, but they're still lacking a competent QB as it doesn't seem likely McNabb returns. They're also stuck with multiple needs on defense and along the offensive line, but you can only fix one thing at a time.
Today we move to the Houston Texans. Their offense is basically complete right now. Matt Schaub is a good but not great quarterback. Andre Johnson is one of the league's best receivers, if not the best. Arian Foster was the best running back in the league last year and they have a great offensive line. It'd be a miracle if they drafted an offensive player, but they do have plenty of needs on defense. Their secondary was terrible last year. It wasn't just bad, it was historically horrible, and it needs to be fixed quickly. With Patrick Peterson and Prince Amukamara already off the board their only realistic choice would be Jimmy Smith, and there are some major character flags with that player. The other thing they can fix is their defensive line. They have Mario Williams to play Defensive End or Outside Linebacker in Wade Phillips' defense, but outside of that they don't have much. They could draft a pass rusher like Robert Quinn to play linebacker and move Williams inside, or they could draft a 5-technique like Cameron Jordan and keep Mario Williams outside as a pass rusher. But today, you get to decide what they do. So what say you, Bucs Nation?
The draft so far:
1. Carolina Panthers - QB Cam Newton
2. Denver Broncos - DT Marcell Dareus
3. Buffalo Bills - DE Von Miller
4. Cincinnati Bengals - WR A.J. Green
5. Arizona Cardinals - QB Blaine Gabbert
6. Cleveland Browns - CB Patrick Peterson
7. San Francisco 49ers - CB Prince Amukamara
8. Tennessee Titans - DT Nick Fairley
9. Dallas Cowboys - OT Tyron Smith
10. Washington Redskins - WR Julio Jones
QB Jake Locker, Washington: A supremely talented quarterback with some really bad accuracy issues. Jake Locker was hyped badly coming into this year with the expectation that he'd get much better, but that improvement never occurred. Instead, he remained inaccurate and inconsistent. But Locker really reminds me of Josh Freeman - both were inaccurate coming out of college, they weren't big winners, they had trouble reading defenses, but they also had supreme talent at the quarterback position, a great work ethic and good leadership skills.
QB Ryan Mallett, Arkansas: A monster of an arm, but a lot of questions. Mallett can make every single throw an NFL coach would want, but his biggest problem is dealing with pressure. When pressured he starts to make questionable decisions, and when he can't set his feet he gets a lot less accurate. Still, he could do wonders behind a good offensive line in a system where he won't be asked to be very mobile. The bigger questions may revolve around his personality, though. There are a lot of rumors about his leadership skills and off-field behavior, but everyone at Arkansas says any concerns are unwarranted. He has the raw talent to go very high, but the team interviews will decide where he will really land.
DE Da'Quan Bowers, Clemson: Bowers is perhaps the best talent at defensive end in this draft. He had a ridiculous junior year with 15.5 sacks and 25 tackles for loss. He's a strong run defender and a potent pass-rusher. But there are two concerns about Da'Quan Bowers: his junior year was his first strong year, and he could be a one-year wonder. Second, a knee injury has prevented him from working out and he still wasn't fully healthy at his pro day. if his knee doesn't check out at the Combine Re-check, he could fall a long way on draft day. He doesn't really fit what the Texans want to do under new coordinator Wade Phillips, though.
DE Robert Quinn, North Carolina: Robert Quinn was one of several North Carolina players who were suspended for the 2010 season for receiving improper benefits from agents. Then add to that some minor medical concerns over a benign brain tumor, and it would be easy to understand if Quinn dropped a long way on draft day. But Quinn is a unique defensive end talent, with great speed off the edge and good strength. He kept in shape during his time away from the game and performed well at the scouting combine and his pro day. Overall there are no questions about his commitment to football, and he may be even better than Bowers. He could also work as a pass-rushing outside linebacker, and hence fits what the Texans want to do.
CB Jimmy Smith, Colorado: Jimmy Smith could actually challenge Patrick Peterson as the most talented cornerback in the draft. He's a terrific player who would excel in press-man coverage, and isn't all that different from Darrelle Revis. There are very few negatives about Jimmy Smith on the field. The only problem is that he has some significant questions about his off-field behavior and will drop in the draft because of that. Whoever takes a risk on him will end up with a great cornerback, but will have to worry about keeping him on the field. The Texans can use all the secondary help they can get, but it's doubtful they're willing to overlook the character concerns.
DT Corey Liuget, Illinois: Liuget is a polished and versatile defensive tackle who can do it all. Not an elite talent but a good player who could plug a hole on defense. He could function as anything from a 3-4 nose tackle to a 4-3 3-technique or even a 3-4 5-technique. He would certainly fit the Texans' needs and could work as a 3-4 end or nose tackle for them.
DE Cameron Jordan, California: A powerful, polished and very versatile defensive end. He has experience playing in a 3-4 defense and could be a great pawn for the Texans defense. He's strong against the run and an effective pass rusher as a 5-technique, though he isn't the most explosive pass rusher in the draft. But he dominated the Senior Bowl, had a very productive college career, always hustles and is a high-character kid.