The 16th pick belongs to the Houston Texans entering their second season under head coach Bill O’Brien. O’Brien was an impressive 9-7 in his first season as an NFL head coach. The carousel of starting quarterbacks included Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Mallet, Tom Savage and even Case Keenum started the last regular season game against Jacksonville. Free agent quarterback Brian Hoyer was signed most likely to compete for the starting job with Mallet who was brought back as well. I don’t envision the Texans spending the 16th pick on say Brett Hundley from UCLA, but I don’t rule out the possibility of them taking Bryce Petty in the middle rounds if he’s on the board. The depth of this year’s running back class could sway Houston to draft a running back at some point for the future replacement of Arian Foster. Foster while still productive seems to be breaking down more than usual the past few seasons. Veteran wide receiver and long time Texan Andre Johnson was released by the team in the offseason. Johnson signed with the division rival Colts. The team signed cheaper free agent options Cecil Shorts from Jacksonville and Nate Washington from Tennessee to compliment now number one Deandre Hopkins. O’Brien comes from the Belichick style of placing less emphasis on the running back and wide receiver positions. I do expect the Texans to draft both positions, but probably not in either of the first two rounds. On the defensive side of the ball, massive nose tackle Vince Wilfork came over from the Super Bowl champs in one of the more underrated moves during the offseason. Wilforkand 2014 Defensive Player of the Year JJ Watt will wreak havoc on offensive lines. First overall pick from last year’s draft Jadeveon Clowney missed almost all the season despite a few quarters in the first game due to lingering knee issues. He had two surgeries in the past year to attempt to correct his meniscus injury. The Texans defense taking that next step hinges on the health of Clowney he provides a different kind of talent off the edge. Fellow outside linebacker Brooks Reed signed with Atlanta which makes Clowney’s availability all the more important. Brian Cushing still battling a multitude of injuries will be back in the middle along with Akeem Dent or a possible draft pick. Safety Rahim Moore was signed from Denver to pair with D.J. Swearinger, one of the harder hitters still left in the league. Cornerback Kareem Jackson was also resigned to give Houston a quality secondary in the AFC South against Andrew Luck. With the 16th pick in the 2015 Birds Scoop Mock Draft the Houston Texans select…
Jake Fisher- Guard/Tackle (Oregon)
Fisher played tackle while at Oregon, but the former tight end has the versatility and agility to transition to guard to start off his NFL career. That’s where I believe the Texans would start Fisher at either of the guard spots opposite Brandon Brooks. Houston seems to be pretty set at the moment with Duane Brown and Derek Newton at tackle. Down the road Fisher should be able to make the jump outside to the tackle spot where he played at Oregon. The best attributes that set Fisher apart from most offensive linemen is his agility to go along with his footwork that allows him to create advantageous angles in both run and pass blocking. Fisher thrives in a zone blocking scheme which most NFL teams run some form of on offense. He would fit the mold of smaller, quicker type linemen on the Texans roster currently. The downside on Fisher was the penalties he racked up over the past two seasons for holding ranking him amongst the highest. He will need to add bulk to his frame to be a successful run blocker on the interior line for Houston. A leg injury slowed Fisher in 2014 and he will need to fully recovery from that to reach his full potential. Like many of the other tackle prospects in the 2015 class, Fisher is a tackle from college who will more than likely begin his career at guard to ease the transition into the pros. Keep an eye on rounds 3 and 4 for the Texans to address the running back and wide receiver positions.
Impact on the Eagles
Jake has been a rumored target of the Eagles at pick 20 with their possible offensive line need and of course the Oregon ties. Fisher coming off the board at 16 might shift Chip’s focus towards the cornerback position or possibly another offensive linemen a bit more off the radar. The way this offseason has gone nothing would surprise me. Ereck Flowers from Miami or T.J. Clemmings from Pitt could be options. The positive spin being that the cornerback options would still be on the board.
Next Pick: 17th pick overall San Diego Chargers
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