Back into the meat of the 1st round as we hit the halfway point. 12inthebox pitches Houston to an offensive lineman we've seen mocked to the Rams before:
#16, Houston Texans - Ereck Flowers (OT, Miami)
The Texans came into this first round with a lot of needs. They thought about going WR, and had one of the big 3 fallen this far, they would have pulled the trigger, even with the sneaky good acquisition of Cecil Shorts III in free agency. The biggest need coming in, however, was along the O Line - and the Texans just happened to sit in that sweet spot where their biggest need meets value. With the exception of Scherff who went to the Rams, the Texans are thrilled have their pick of O Line prospects here at 16. Philosophically, the Texans are similar to the Rams. They want to win with their running game and a strong defense. As it stands today, Ereck Flowers is not the best tackle on the board - his hand usage and his footwork both need a significant amount of work. But Flowers is coachable and he plays the game with the kind of tenacity that can't be faked. In Flowers, the Texans are taking a 20 year old monster with unteachable size, power, length, and nastiness. He will start day 1 on the right side and has left tackle ability. Flowers was to Duke Johnson what Greg Robinson was to Tre Mason in college. Like Robinson, Flowers will require a bit of patience in the early goings but the return is going to be worth it.
It's a long-game play, but those tend to look genius when they turn out. And Houston's in a good BPA spot here.
Strangely enough in the SB Nation NFL Blogger Mock, Houston went BPA into their biggest strength: the pass rush. With J.J. Watt and the hopes of a reclaimed #1 overall Jadeveon Clowney for 2015, Brett Kollman from Battle Red Blog went with Kentucky DE Bud Dupree. As a Rams fan, it'd be hard to sincerely argue against loading up with pass rushing talent. Then again, the Rams aren't exactly a model for success. The bottom line question for both St. Louis and Houston is how they start turning the potential of recent drafts into production and wins.