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BTSC 2011 Community Mock Draft Pick No. 11 -- Houston Texans Select Aldon Smith, DE/OLB, Missouri

The pace picks back up thanks to a timely pick by mojo88. A job well done by him with the selection and writeup. Next up: the Minnesota Vikings, represented by Steel in FL. Enjoy the weekend everybody. - Michael B. -


With the Redskins and Cowboys up before the Texans, and Amukamara and Quinn both on the board, I felt I had at least a decent shot to take one of the two for the Texans at 11. Alas, not to be.

The question now is, who to take?

The Texans offense has been excellent the last couple of seasons. With Schaub and, in my opinion, the best receiver in the game today Andre Johnson, together with the recent emergence of all pro running back Arian Foster, the skill positions look locked down. At the same time, the Texans don't appear to have major questions about their offensive line either. A few mock drafts at this stage have the Texans taking Julio Jones, Alabama WR, to match with Johnson. I don't see it.

The Texans are still searching for that elusive playoff berth. If they want to get there, they'll have to get past Peyton Manning and the Colts; the one team that seems to consistently get in their way. To slow down a great QB like Manning, the Texans need one of two things: a great pass rush or a great secondary.

The Texans are moving to a 3-4 defense under Wade Phillips, which raises its own issues. Mario Williams has been very good at getting to the QB since being the first overall selection in 2006. The Texans have little in the way across from him. In addition, their roster seems to lack the big space eating nose tackle that makes a 3-4 defense run. Phil Taylor, the NT from Baylor, could be the pick but it seems a little high for him. His consensus value seems mid to late first round. Additionally, a 3-4 defensive end like Cameron Heyward or Cameron Jordan may fit the bill here, but it seems high, when most teams prefer to convert under-sized 4-3 DT's to the end.

In terms of corners, with both Peterson and Amukamara of the board, the value just doesn't seem to be there. I'm not as high on Jimmy Smith as some and Brandon Harris is a late first rounder at best. Additionally, the Texans spent their 2010 first round pick on Kareem Jackson, and taking corners in the first consecutively seems unlikely. With such a deep cornerback class, later round value is likely to be there.

In the end, this pick came down to a pass rusher. To me, the best available player who could transition from 4-3 DE to 3-4 OLB is Aldon Smith, DE Missouri.

BTSC 2011 Community Mock Draft Picks:

  1. Carolina Panthers -- Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
  2. Denver Broncos -- Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
  3. Buffalo Bills -- Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M
  4. Cincinnati Bengals -- Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
  5. Arizona Cardinals -- Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
  6. Cleveland Browns -- 'The Snow Cone Machine' A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
  7. San Francisco 49ers -- Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
  8. Tennessee Titans -- Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
  9. Dallas Cowboys -- Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
  10. Washington Redskins -- Robert Quinn, DE/OLB, North Carolina