2018 NFL Draft Grades: Houston Texans Hope 2017 Continues to Grow

Houston Texans 2018 Draft Grade - B+8.6
Without a first or second round pick, the Houston Texans are looking back on 2017. They are hoping the strong class they had last year continues to grow and that the 2018 class can just be fertilizer on the growing flower.

When the Houston Texans entered the 2018 NFL Draft, they did so without a pick on the first day. In addition, they did not have a draft choice in the second round. They did not start picking until the 3rd round. However, the way the draft fell there was still plenty of talent available for the Texans in the 3rd round and beyond. Are the Texans going to suffer from not drafting early? That remains to be seen. Nonetheless, let us look at and grade the 2018 draft of the Houston Texans.

Round 3 – Justin Reid, S – Stanford

Reid comes with excellent value in the third round. Here is a player that could become a starter in the defensive backfield. He has solid football intelligence. Reid brings superior size and speed to the safety position. His balls skills are top-notch. If the Houston Texans want to team him with Tyrann Mathieu early, it could be a successful pairing.

Round 3 – Martinas Rankins, OL – Mississippi State

Rankins played most of his career as a tackle. However, he is a versatile offensive lineman and can offer help at all 5 line positions. Although, his weakest position may be left tackle. Nonetheless, the Texans were able to gain a valuable draft choice with the selection of Rankins. Moving him down to center may just be the best value they can get. It will be interesting to see what the team chooses to do with the versatile player.

Round 3 – Jordan Akins, TE – Central Florida

Akins was one of the older players in the draft. The reason is that he decided to try his hand at baseball before signing with the Golden Knights. He was unsuccessful in that endeavor leading him UCF. He started his freshman season at WR before tearing his ACL as a sophomore. The rehab process thus allowed him to move to TE. Akins may struggle early on and may need to make the squad as a special teamer.

Round 4 – Keke Coutee, WR – Texas Tech

Coutee is a speed guy. He can take the top off the defense. Meanwhile, the Texans already have one of the in DeAndre Hopkins. However, his lack of route running could lead to a project season. Texas Tech does not build their offense around precise routes, making it difficult to transition to the NFL.

Round 6 – Duke Ejiofor, DE – Wake Forest

Ejiofor is a project edge player in the NFL. While he possesses many NFL traits, he will need some work to maximize his talents. In fact, the Texans may be better off using Duke in sub packages. This will allow them to get the most out of him while they work on his weaknesses.

Round 6 – Jordan Thomas, TE – Mississippi State

Thomas is a big, athletic TE. Also, for a TE he has an impeccable combination of size and speed. However, one AFC team regional scout said, “There is no way I would put my name on him to my boss. No way. I don’t think he can be trusted on or off the field. You see flashes but I think that’s all it is. Flashes”. The Houston Texans may use him more in blocking situations early on.

Round 6 – Peter Kalambayi, Edge – Stanford

Kalambayi is a project player who could make the squad as a backup LB. He has good hands that allow him to shed edge blockers and seal the edge for the defense. Although he can go sideline-to-sideline his skills as a pass rusher may need some work. Kalambayi may also help on special teams.

Round 7 – Jermaine Kelly, DB – San Jose State

Kelly is a depth and special teams pick. While he has the size and strength to be an outside CB in the NFL, the Houston Texans are full at the position. Especially with players like Johnathan Joseph, Kareem Jackson, and Johnson Bademosi.

The Houston Texans are hoping that Deshaun Watson returns to his rookie form. He was the leading candidate for ROY until a knee injury ended his season. If he maintains that form, not having a pick in rounds one and two of this draft will not hurt.

How do you feel about the Houston Texans Class of 2018? Leave a comment below.

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