Next up in the 2013 Niners Nation NFL mock draft is the Houston Texans with pick No. 27. When we get to the end of this round, I'll post all the picks and explanations in a single comprehensive post.
The Houston Texans are on the clock, and their Niners Nation GM is Ni9er. With the twenty-seventh pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Texans select Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee.
Explanation: The Houston Texans have one of the most boring offenses in the NFL. They use their zone blocking scheme to run and execute play-action based off of it. Their running game features Arian Foster, a great running back and the heart and soul of a well-designed and very structured offense, but in order to win against other AFC powerhouses -- mainly the Patriots -- they need to match them in their ability to move the ball quickly and spread the field with a vertical passing attack that is not a play action pass. To achieve that, they need a fast wide receiver who can stretch the field vertically. Their primary wide receiver is Andre Johnson, who had over 1,500 yards for the Texans; The other four wide receivers accounted for only 841, most of it by Kevin Walter who was released in March and signed by the Titans. They drafted Devier Posey in the 3rd round in 2012; He caught six passes for 87 yards last year and injured his ACL in the playoff game against the Patriots.
Looking at this putrid wide receiver group as general manager, I have no other option than to draft Justin Hunter. Hunter combines the size, elusiveness and speed to become an elite WR. He is 6'4", with 4.4 speed, and he could be a big-time playmaker and a constant source of mismatches. He has one of the biggest upsides in this wide receiver class and despite his inexplicable lack of focus at odd times, I have to take the risk.
Trevor Woods: With this selection, Andre Johnson finally has a receiver that will take some pressure off him. Not only would this prevent some teams from doubling Johnson, it would provide another deep threat for the Texans, which they have always seemed to lack. I liked what I saw from Hunter at the combine. He impressed me in the gauntlet drill where he appeared to be very fluid. Hunter could wind up being a better NFL player than his teammate Cordarrelle Patterson.
Nick Chiamardas: I'm not sure I'd go as far as to classify this wide receiver class as "putrid". I can see why it may seem that way when trying to draft for need vs. the best player available. WR is a need for the Texans and Hunter is a nice, but risky pick. As Ni9er points out, Hunter has all the intangibles to be an elite receiver. I have Quinton Patton and Robert Woods higher than Hunter but I do believe the ceiling for Hunter is higher; However, his floor is also much lower. So Ni9er is right, it's risky but it could pay off. I would have liked to see the Texans address defensive line depth with either Jesse Williams or Jon Hankins or perhaps a middle linebacker like Kevin Minter.
Niners Nation Mock Draft, Round 1
- Kansas City Chiefs -- Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah [Explanation]
- Jacksonville Jaguars -- Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia [Explanation]
- Oakland Raiders -- Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon [Explanation]
- Philadelphia Eagles -- Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M [Explanation]
- Detroit Lions -- Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan [Explanation]
- Cleveland Browns -- Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama [Explanation]
- Arizona Cardinals -- Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas [Explanation]
- Buffalo Bills -- Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU [Explanation]
- New York Jets -- Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama [Explanation]
- Tennessee Titans -- Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida [Explanation]
- San Diego Chargers -- Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma [Explanation]
- Miami Dolphins -- Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina [Explanation]
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State [Explanation]
- Carolina Panthers -- Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee [Explanation]
- New Orleans Saints -- Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU [Explanation]
- St. Louis Rams -- Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri [Explanation]
- Pittsburgh Steelers -- Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia [Explanation]
- Dallas Cowboys -- D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama [Explanation]
- New York Giants -- Alec Ogletree, ILB, Georgia [Explanation]
- Chicago Bears -- Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia [Explanation]
- Cincinnati Bengals -- Arthur Brown, ILB, Kansas State [Explanation]
- St. Louis Rams -- DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson [Explanation]
- Minnesota Vikings -- Keenan Allen, WR, Cal [Explanation]
- Indianapolis Colts -- Datone Jones, DE, UCLA [Explanation]
- Minnesota Vikings -- Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington [Explanation]
- Green Bay Packers -- Damontre Moore, DE/OLB [Explanation]
- Houston Texans -- Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee