The Rookies: Digging Deep: Part 1
Patrick D. Starr
With the Houston Texans getting into the flow of OTAs we wanted to look at the 2012 rookie class a little closer. We enlisted the help of Shane Hallam of Draft Countdown to give us some quick thoughts on the entire rookie class of the Texans. We asked Hallam also who the rookies compare to that are in the NFL which give us a baseline for what to look for when camp opens up. Take a look at let us know what you think.
The Rookies (Part 1)
Keshawn Martin – A #4 type of WR with some upside as a slot player. He was the deep threat for the Spartans who also showcased some crossing route ability. Average hands and limited routes make him a bit more developmental than you would like, but not a bad pick for a team in need of a smaller, quicker wideout. May take some time to progress.
Comparison: Kyle Williams (WR, San Francisco 49ers)
Dwight Jones – Big bodied with upside, but his hands are a tad inconsistent at times and he won’t get you much separation. A draftable prospect who should be able to compete on the field and potentially make a roster because he uses his frame so well.
Comparison: David Nelson (WR, Buffalo Bills)
D.J. Bryant – Profiles as a 3-4 OLB. Thin frame, but he has good length and range for a LB. To contribute to a roster, he will acquire a lot of weight management and strength training so it may be more than a team is willing to give. Not strong enough to bull rush or defend the run well, nor is he fast enough to purely be a speed rusher. Best case scenario is a situational pass rusher.
Comparison: Danny Batten (OLB, Buffalo Bills)
Case Keenum- Extremely productive, but will need to adjust to a new system and overcome his lack of arm strength and mobility. Could be a solid practice squad candidate who could profile as an NFL back-up if he is developed properly.
Comparison: Graham Harrell (QB, Green Bay Packers)
Nick Mondek – Developmental prospect. He was heavily inconsistent, but often played up to his competition in the Big Ten (even doing pretty well against JJ Watt two years ago). Mondek has left tackle type of potential, but will more than likely find himself on the waiver wire rather than starting for an NFL team in the future. Inconsistent hand placement, feet, and a poor anchor don’t bode well for his NFL future.
Comparison: Willie Smith (OT, Washington Redskins)
Ben Jones – Good value pick and a player who definitely fits the ZBS for the Texans. Jones doesn’t have your elite strength or athleticism, but he is very smart and uses his hands/feet well. He is an ideal future replacement at center and could even be a guard back-up in a pinch. I wouldn’t expect much immediate production, but more of someone to groom for the future.
Comparison: Scott Wells (C, St. Louis Rams)
Jerrell Jackson – Thin and weak, but he can move in and out of breaks very quickly. Profiles as a #4 or #5 WR at best. Very loose hipped player who will likely impress in a training camp setting more than in a game setting. Any type of physicality will derail him, and looked a bit faster in the spread system than he actually is.
Comparison: Ronald Johnson (WR, Philadelphia Eagles)
Look for the other rookies breakdowns in the coming days.