The knee-jerk reaction for Texans fans is that a quarterback is the biggest need. There is no question that Houston has to focus on a quarterback in this draft but, not necessarily in the first round.
The terrible play of Brock Osweiler last season has left a horrible taste in the mouths of Texans fans everywhere. Osweiler had seven starts with the Denver Broncos in 2015 and looked somewhat impressive. The young quarterback decided to chase the money in free agency and Houston threw as much of it as they could at him.
Brock Osweiler didn’t live up to the hype with the Texans, unfortunately, and finished with 2,957 yards, 15 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions. In week 15 of the 2016 season, Osweiler was benched for his poor play and, had it not been for Tom Savage getting injured, he would have likely spent the rest of the season on the bench.
Coming into this year’s draft, one prospect that is on everyone’s mind is Patrick Mahomes II, quarterback out of Texas Tech. Mahomes seems like an ideal fit for Houston, he’s shown the ability to make big plays in his time as a Red Raider. His accuracy and confidence stand out the most. He’s not afraid to challenge a defense and that’s the kind of quarterback Houston needs.
I do believe the Texans should draft Patrick Mahomes II, I just don’t think they need to take him with their 25th pick. While everyone is hyping up Mitchell Trubisky, Deshaun Watson, and DeShone Kizer, there’s a real good chance that Mahomes will slide into the second round.
The Houston Texans Should Avoid Patrick Mahomes in the First Round, Draft Gareon Conley Instead
Quarterback Can Wait
While quarterback is a strong need for the Texans, the biggest loss in free agency was cornerback, A.J. Bouye. Bouye was Houston’s best corner and, since they let him leave for Jacksonville, the Texans are faced with the task of replacing him.
While the Texans still have safety Andre Hal, they lost Quintin Demps to Chicago. Without their star corner and one of their starting safeties, the Texans have to address a need in their secondary. Johnathan Joseph is coming into his 12th season and hasn’t been the threat that he once was and Kareem Jackson, coming into his ninth season, has been inconsistent.
Houston does have a young corner in Kevin Johnson who showed some promise before injuring his foot last season. The Texans still need to bring in someone to fill the hole that Bouye left and what better time to do it than with the 25th pick.
Marshon Lattimore would be ideal but, without trading up, it’s not likely the Texans can draft him. Gareon Conley seems like the best choice for Houston. Conley is coming off his best season at Ohio State with 26 tackles, four interceptions, and eight pass deflections.
Gareon Conley has the size and the speed to make an impact in the NFL and looks to be most comfortable playing press-man coverage. Houston has one of the NFL’s greatest pass rush tandems with the likes of J.J. Watt and Jadaveon Clowney. With a press coverage corner like Conley, opposing offenses will have difficulty developing routes and could lead to either more sacks, or more turnovers.
So, with the 25th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans should select Gareon Conley. The quarterback of the future can wait until the second round.