ESPN dratniks Mel Kiper and Todd McShay discussed picks 6-12 in the 2011 NFL draft in a recent podcast on ESPN.com.
When they got to pick number 11, McShay said that he thinks the Texans will pick North Carolina defensive end/outside linebacker Robert Quinn. Here’s the discussion that followed:
McShay: “I still think he’s (Quinn) a work in progress. You go back and watch that tape from a year ago. I just watched the Virginia Tech game; it was one of the last games I had to watch on him. He makes some special plays. He’ll fly around. He doesn’t always finish, but he’s disruptive as all get out.”
Kiper: “He’d be on his feet in Houston as an outside linebacker.”
McShay: “That’s exactly it. Wade Phillips comes over, he’s moving to a 3-4 defense. I think he could play 4-3 end, I think he could play 3-4 outside linebacker. I really don’t think it matters. He’s going to need some time to develop just a little bit, working on the technique, getting stronger in the lower body, stronger versus the run. But when it all comes together, if it does for Quinn, he’s got a chance to be one of the seven, eight, nine best players from this year’s draft. The Texans continue to need defensive help overall, especially a pass rush. They really just need defensive front seven guys. I’ve got their top five needs. You ready? Corner, free safety, outside linebacker, nose tackle, strong safety.”
Kiper: “How about a 3-4 defensive end, Todd?”
Kiper: “How about a J.J. Watt? At 6-5-and-a-quarter, 290 pounds, 34 reps at the combine, had a 37 vertical and ran in the 4.8. I mean, we know what he did in Wisconsin. Solid player, you’ll remember transferred from the Mid-American Conference, all that type of thing. Here’s a kid where who at that particular point in the first round is about where you would think J.J. Watt comes off the board. He’s a guy, fast riser, everybody kind of thinks he’s going to be solid – maybe not spectacular, because his forte is not as a pass rusher. What do you think about J.J. Watt and where he’ll come off the board?”
McShay: “Nine would be the highest. I was going to say nine to 17, 18 range. Nine would be the highest to the Dallas Cowboys. I could see 11 to the Texans… I think probably if he doesn’t go here at 11, then you start to look down to 17 to the Patriots, 18. He’s not going to get to 20. He’s a very, very good player. I just think he’s a notch below the elite. At 11, it wouldn’t shock me at all. Nine would probably be the highest. But I think that J.J. Watt, somewhere in the middle portion of the first round.”
Near the end of the podcast, McShay and Kiper reflected on players in pasts drafts who didn’t fare as well as they expected in the pros. McShay brought up the Texans’ 2010 first-rounder, cornerback Kareem Jackson, while noting that it’s too early to judge a player after just one season.
“If he doesn’t turn things around, that will be a mistake that I made,” McShay said. “Because I thought he was going to be a good starting cornerback in the NFL coming out, and had him rated number 20 or 21 in terms of the whole class. Here was a player I thought was a little higher on than most people and had a terrible rookie season. Not all his fault, but certainly a majority of it was his fault. There are certain players we’ll look back on three years down the road, but for now I’m more concerned with the 2008 draft than I am the 2010 draft.”
Tags: 2011 NFL Draft, Kareem Jackson
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