With the 33rd pick in Pride Of Detroit's 2014 NFL mock draft, the Houston Texans select Auburn outside linebacker Dee Ford. Kudos is serving as the Texans' general manager, and his reasoning for the pick is below.
One of the weak spots on the Texans defense last season was the outside linebacker position. The two starters, Brooks Reed and Whitney Mercilus, combined for only 10 sacks, which was half of a sack less than what the often double-teamed J.J. Watt had. Houston should be looking to upgrade this position in the draft, and I decided to do so with the former Auburn Tiger.
Dee Ford had a nice 2013, finishing the regular season with 12.5 tackles for loss, including 8.5 sacks. The defensive end put up these numbers despite missing the first two games of Auburn's season with a left MCL injury. He's been projected as a late first-round pick in many mock drafts and would be a good value for Houston at 33.
At 6'2, 252 pounds, Ford projects to be a 3-4 OLB in the NFL. He wasn't asked to drop into coverage in college, so he'll be primarily a pass rusher during his rookie season. With the lackluster seasons put forth by both of the Texans' edge rushers in 2013, he should be able to play his way into Houston's rotation while developing the rest of his game.
Check out the 2014 POD Community Mock Draft tracker for a look at all of the picks.