2011 NFL Mock Draft: Houston Texans Select Aldon Smith

Rd. # Player Pos. College
1 11 Aldon Smith
DE/OLB
Missouri
General Manager: Lead Hunter

With the 11th pick of Pride of Detroit's 2011 NFL Mock Draft, the Houston Texans select Missouri defensive end/outside linebacker Aldon Smith.

Here is Lead Hunter's reasoning for the pick:

After making visits to Battle Red Blog and researching many websites, I determined that the Houston Texans' biggest needs are at OLB, FS, CB and to a lesser extent, DT and NT. With the hiring of Wade Phillips as defensive coordinator and the switch to a 3-4 defense, this is the side of the ball that needs the attention.

So let's check the D-line first. Mario Williams and Antonio Smith will likely make the transition to the 3-4 in their own positions. As for the NT, Shaun Cody was the most productive DT/NT, and that's not saying much. Unfortunately, there is not a NT prospect worthy of the No. 11 pick.

On to the LBs. Houston has some LBs with talent. It really depends on where Wade wants to plug them in to make them work. Connor Barwin will most likely be an OLB and Brian Cushing could play ILB, so a pass rush LB to go opposite Barwin would be a good move.

Now for the secondary. Strong safety Bernard Pollard is serviceable, but his coverage numbers are awful with a 124.9 passer rating against. His value comes in run support and pass rushing. The only positive about FS Eugene Wilson is that he did not commit one penalty all year. That's great but he ranks 82nd out of 85 safeties. (YIKES!) The interesting thing about CB Glover Quin is that he is better suited for FS, according to Battle Red Blog. Kareem Jackson, the opposite CB, is just young with only one year of experience. If a starting CB can be found, Quin could go to FS, filling two needs with one pick. Unfortunately, with Amukamara and Peterson gone, I don't see a CB or a FS worth picking at No. 11.

Knowing what I do from the research, Aldon Smith seems to be a logical pick. This bolsters the LB core and helps the secondary with a pass rush as well. J.J. Watt was another option and is ranked close to Smith, but I feel Smith is the more useful pick considering there is more talent and experience at DE and DT. The one thing working in Smith's favor is that Wade Phillips excels in teaching linemen and linebackers.

 

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Check out the 2011 Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft tracker for a look at all of the picks.

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