Tim at Battle Red Blog knows how to close out the day with a surprise. Take it away, Tim!
In 2008, the Houston Texans broke through offensively and finished third overall in total offense. The defense, however, struggled and finished 22nd overall in total defense. After the season, defensive coordinator Richard Smith was fired and an overhaul has begun to give the Texans a new defensive identity.
The run on defensive players in this mock is nightmarish for the Texans. Our first choice, of course, would be to trade down. Since that's not permitted, we're screwed. If we have to stay at 15, our fan base is divided between Malcolm Jenkins and Clay Matthews III, both of whom are gone. The prospect of a game-changer like Jeremy Maclin is tempting, but again, our defense needs help if we are to take the next step. Michael Johnson is also tempting because of his upside, but after the acquisition of Antonio Smith, Johnson would be relegated to playing only on third downs.
In our mind, this leaves Sean Smith of the University of Utah. Although his height initially worried scouts that his future was only as a free safety, Smith showed at his pro day that he is capable of playing CB by running a 4.43 40 and looking awfully impressive in positional drills. Not coincidentally, Smith started his collegiate career as a WR and has great ball skills because his experience there.
The Texans have never had a stud free safety, and we think Smith could be that guy. In his senior year, he totaled five (5) interceptions; what impressed us the most was the 151 return yards and the TD that came from those interceptions. At 6-foot-3, Smith would be a great asset if he could play not only FS but also occasionally switch to CB to neutralize the advantage a taller wideout typically has. Some might consider this selection a reach, but if Smith plays to his potential, the Texans will have a playmaker for their secondary and therefore would be vindicated.
MTD thoughts: I would be one of those people who would consider this a reach, only because Vontae Davis is still out there. His body type and playing style are better suited for safety than Smith's. Still, Smith will be a very good player in the NFL, maybe just not as dynamic as Davis.
Mocking the Draft's Top Five Remaining Prospects - RB Knowshon Moreno, MLB Rey Maualuga, WR Jeremy Maclin, CB Vontae Davis, RB Chris Wells