2020 NFL Draft: Grading The Texans' Picks

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By SportsRadio 610
(SportsRadio 610) -- We asked for your letter grade from the Texans' draft, which includes three defensive players and two on offense. 
Four hours after the draft, 797 voters participated and nearly 52 percent gave the Texans a letter grade B.

That's pretty consistent with our hosts here at SportsRadio 610. 

Defensive tackle Ross Blacklock, a Missouri City native, was selected with the 40th overall pick. It is widely considered a great value pick, since Blacklock was considered to be a first-round prospect out of TCU.
Jonathan Greenard, an edge rusher out of Florida, was taken with the 90th overall pick in the third round. He is expected to contribute his pass rushing skills to a Texans team which struggled getting to the quarterback in 2019.
Offensive tackle Charlie Heck is the son of Kansas City offensive line coach Andy Heck, who also played tackle in the league. His pedigree and experience playing both tackle spots are intriguing if you consider the injuries to starters Tytus Howard and Laremy Tunsil last season.  
John Reid, the cornerback taken out of Penn State, can play slot corner or outside, and even some star safety, head coach and general manager Bill O'Brien said Saturday.

.@jharrisfootball, @SethCPayne and @SeanTPendergast talk ball with @John_Doe_25 minutes after he is drafted.@Verizon | #TexansDraft pic.twitter.com/3VFJMORzzr

— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) April 25, 2020

Isaiah Coulter is a wide receiver from Rhode Island. He's the first player drafted from that university in 34 years. He and Reid could both contribute on special teams. 

So let's see what the hosts have to say about these picks:

Sean Pendergast -- I know a lot of Texans fans are choosing to continue to wallow in the Hopkins Trade Negativity circle of Texans hell. I get it, I suppose, as I was there myself for a while. But you all need to turn the page, if for now other reason then to join me in this sweet, breezy backyard of football joy that I am sitting in today. You misery addicts won’t like to hear this, but here goes — Bill O’Brien NAILED his first draft as general manager.

Technically, there were no picks on Day 1, because they traded their first round pick (and many other assets) for Laremy Tunsil, but considering the way the tackle board fell in this draft, PLUS the fact that they got a contract extension done with Tunsil on Friday, I can’t even feel antsy about all that. Laremy Tunsil is our left tackle, and that’s good.

Day 2, the Texans addressed two crucial needs, drafting DT Ross Blacklock, a first round talent, with the 40th overall pick, and then finding an effective edge rusher in Florida OLB Jonathan Greenard with the 90th pick. (BONUS: We even got video of O’Brien flipping out on his staff for (reportedly) being left at the altar on a trade with Detroit. WHAT A NIGHT!)

My biggest draft fear with O’Brien was his concept of value in maneuvering DURING the draft, trading picks for picks to move up and down. On Day 3, he did both of those things, moved up AND down, and did a fantastic job! He turned the 111th pick into two later 4th rounders, used two late 7th round picks to move up and snag OL Charlie Heck, then traded the 240th pick for a 6th rounder next season. Great job!

The only thing that keeps this from being an A is the thin overall numbers, just five players, and the fact that the one guy I REALLY wanted in the third round, Texas WR Devin Duvernay, was still there and went to the damn RAVENS tow picks later. Oof.

One big concern I had about O’Brien in his first draft was the in-draft maneuvering, trading picks for picks. I thought he did awesome today in that department.

— Sean Pendergast (@SeanTPendergast) April 25, 2020

OVERALL GRADE: A-

Seth Payne -- I think Blacklock and Greenard have a great chance to contribute immediately, and both of them are capable of pushing for starting time if they have some semblance of a normal training camp. 

Since that is very much in doubt, I think they will at least make an impact in passing situations. I’ve seen some people write that Blacklock is a replacement for D.J. Reader, but I don’t think that’s entirely accurate.

They are different types of players.  D.J. excelled as a masses run defender and added a pass rush presence this year, while the smaller Blacklock is less of a space eater but has the potential to be a true backfield disruptor.

Blacklock’s speed and versatility should allow Anthony Weaver to create more dynamic and aggressive game plans.

The rest of the class intrigues me, and I think Bill O’Brien tried to stay true to his Dependable, Tough, Smart ethic with these selections.

Frankly, I’d have graded them an A, but the reported flubbed deal with Detroit means I have to subtract points for form.

Former #Texans defensive lineman @SethCPayne breaks down the #Texans #NFLDraft2020 pick at No. 40, Ross Blacklock. #TexansDraft #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/7BgQ9i58X1

— SportsRadio 610 (@SportsRadio610) April 25, 2020

OVERALL GRADE: B+

John P. Lopez -- I really feel like you need to include Laremy Tunsil somehow, someway into this grade. I know you gave up two first-rounders and one of them is still a year away from coming to fruition. But it doesn't matter. You got your left tackle.

Obviously, you got Ross Blacklock with your second-round pick. It's a first-round grade on him, but who cares about grades? All I know is what I've seen on the field with him at TCU, and I've seen a lot. He gets into the backfield, kind of a new-age defensive tackle who I think first-year defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver can do a lot with.

He's not just a two-gap guy who shuts stuff down and wreaks havoc for the linebackers to make plays. He makes plays himself. He gets into the backfield and does that.

Outside linebacker Jonathan Greenard from Florida led the SEC in tackles for loss and sacks last season. That means he's a player, flat out.

Texans inside linebacker Zach Cunningham was drafted out of Vanderbilt, but he led the SEC in sacks and tackles for loss. We see how that's worked out for the Texans.

This guy can play. After that, we'll see.

I know Heck is a great story and hopefully down the road he can play some tackle. 

But in the end, this draft should be judged on Laremy Tunsil, Ross Blacklock and Jonathan Greenard. 

Here's the O.G. @LopezOnSports with his #TexansDraft grade.Solid B+#NFLDraft #NFLDraft2020 pic.twitter.com/GT6jaDEWaD

— SportsRadio 610 (@SportsRadio610) April 25, 2020

OVERALL GRADE: B+

Landry Locker -- It was good to see Bill O’Brien and his staff sit back and let the game come to them on day two. Sometimes stuff shapes up well for you and it did for the Texans.

Both guys have a chance to contribute in 2020 and have high ceilings. 

Things didn’t appear to shape up as well in front of the Texans on day three and they didn’t stand still, making multiple trades to trade both up and down. A few intriguing prospects linked to the team were off the board when they selected including: Utah DT Leki Fotu, Baylor DL James Lynch and LA Tech CB Amik Robertson. You never know though, no event has served more crow than the NFL Draft.

Overall, the front-seven improved and more bodies were added to compete at camp in other areas. A splash wasn’t made, but that’s not a bad thing. 

Let the game come to them day two and it fells perfect, made right picks. Day two little more movement, liked possibilities of staying put, but never know. Solid B. https://t.co/tW6GLIhjnJ

— Landry Locker (@LandryLocker) April 26, 2020

OVERALL GRADE: B

Clint Stoerner -- The only reason the Texans don't get an is because I'm not sure they answered the need for speed on defense. Once they decided to go interior defensive line at No. 40 overall, answering that need for speed was going to be difficult.
But the value in picking Blacklock at No. 40 is unbelievable. Blacklock is a plug-and-play player at a position of need once D.J. Reader left for the Cincinnati Bengals in free agency and he should start Day 1.

You also get your swing tackle in Charlie Heck. If you remember back in 2019 when Tytus Howard went down, the Texans really struggled in protection.

Now you've got your swing tackle who can play on either side. That's a good get.

I'm not sure where edge rusher Greenard falls on the depth chart, but he was productive as hell in the SEC and he helps this football team.

You have a cornerback in John Reid and a wide receiver Isaiah Coulter. 

The need for speed in H-Town is still real, but this is a solid draft.

The Texans made some solid moves in the draft. They picked up a plug-and-play starter on the defensive line and got their swing tackle. See what grade @ClintStoerner gave the #TexansDraft. #NFLDraft #NFLDraft2020 pic.twitter.com/Q2YPqtzFzd

— SportsRadio 610 (@SportsRadio610) April 26, 2020

OVERALL GRADE: B

Ron Hughley -- I think the Texans did well in this draft, getting needs filled and continuing to move towards their new identity.... SPEED SPEED SPEED. 

The most important thing in my opinion coming into this draft was to get an impact player in the front seven. 

Ross Blacklock has the star potential as an interior pass rusher which is huge for this defense.

My only disappointment is not appearing to have a ready-to-go player added to the secondary.  Maybe my favorite pick of the draft is fifth-round wide receiver Isaiah Coulter from Rhode Island. 
I love his speed and big play potential, in a few years we could look back and see the Texans got a steal in the 5th round with Coulter.

Here’s why @RonnieHSHOW likes the #Texans’ fifth-round pick, WR Isaiah Coulter. https://t.co/1pwHfvCzxS#TexansDraft #NFLDraft #NFLDraft2020 pic.twitter.com/59hyKiqJ6j

— SportsRadio 610 (@SportsRadio610) April 26, 2020

OVERALL GRADE: B+

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