Published November 20, 2014
1 - Whitney Mercilus, OLB, Illinois (6-4, 261); 3 - DeVier Posey, WR, Ohio State (6-2, 211); 3 - Brandon Brooks, OG, Miami-Ohio (6-5, 346); 4 - Ben Jones, C, Georgia (6-3, 303); 4 - Keshawn Martin, WR, Michigan State (5-11, 188); 4 - Jared Crick, DE, Nebraska (6-4, 279); 5 - Randy Bullock, K, Texas A&M (5-9, 205); 6 - Nick Mondek, OT, Purdue (6-6, 304)
Top Picks Analysis: Though outside linebacker wasn't a huge need area, the Texans were able to snare one of this draft's better pass rushers after Mercilus fell into the team's lap at the 26th overall pick. The early entrant sports an excellent first step as well as some power and put together a dominant junior year at Illinois, leading the nation with 16 sacks and nine forced fumbles. Houston moved down into the early third round for Posey, a tall and coordinated receiver who can threaten the defense vertically but is an unpolished route runner with average speed and hands. Brooks is a massive mauler with good footwork for a man of his size, and could eventually become a starter at right guard once he improves his technique.
Best Value Pick: Martin is a blazer who excels at making defenders miss in open space. He's too raw and not yet strong enough to contribute significantly as a receiver, but can have a quick impact as a dangerous punt returner who might make the underachieving Jacoby Jones expendable.
Questionable Calls: Posey has a chance to emerge as a decent No. 2 receiver at some point, but will need time to hone his skills and doesn't have the upside of LSU's Reuben Randle, whom the Texans passed on in the late second round to trade down.
Summary: The Texans did fairly well in replenishing the depth losses caused by numerous offseason player defections and obtaining a potential double-digit sack artist in Mercilus. There isn't a whole lot to get excited about afterwards, but not much to gripe about this cast either.
FINAL GRADE: B-