Let's be honest; there is no way to know how any draft picks will pan out. It's like the old adage in horse racing: you breed the best to the best and hope for the best. In the draft, you pick the best of the best and hope for the best.
The Texans did exactly that. The potential is through the roof. They appeared to get the best player at his position with three picks. They got a project quarterback. They added depth and perhaps as many as four starters.
In essence, they made themselves better.
Here's 20 reasons why I like the draft:
1) They took the best player. This was broken down in detail here on Thursday night, but the Texans did the right thing by taking Jadaveon Clowney.
2) They did not reach for a quarterback. The Texans weren't impressed by the so-called "Big Three," and settled on project Tom Savage in the fourth round. While I'm not all that impressed with Savage, a lot of people who do in-depth scouting had Savage rated very highly. So we'll see how it plays out, but using a high pick on QB they were not particularly impressed with would have made no sense.
3) They got perhaps the three best players at their position in the draft with Clowney, guard Zavier Su'a Filo and defense tackle Louis Nix. All three should be starters from Day 1.
4) They were aggressive when they needed to be, moving up to get Nix, a perfect fit at nose tackle for defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel. Nix can tie up blockers, freeing up the playmakers on defense to do what they do best. Most teams had a mid-first round grade on Nix and the Texans got him in the third.
5) For the first time in a while, they might have nailed the late rounds. LSU running back Alfred Blue will be in the mix to back up Arian Foster. He was overshadowed by Jeremy Hill last year at LSU, but he is extremely talented and has a chance to be a terrific pro. Sixth-rounder Jeoffrey Pagan should contribute in the defensive line rotation. DBs Andre Hal and Lonnie Balentine should be special teams contributors.
In addition, a couple names stand out in the undrafted free agent signings. Rice kicker Chris Boswell is extremely talented, has a big leg and could easily replace Randy Bullock. Max Bullough, the hard-nosed linebacker from Michigan State, could easily make the team and contribute inside.
It wasn't a perfect draft. C.J. Fiedorowicz at the top of the third round may or may not work out. He is a big, strong tight end, but anyone you hear call him a "Gronkowski clone" is out of their minds. If he were that, he would have gone in Round 1. Obviously the Texans like him and it was a position of need. Nix would have been a better option, but the fact that they traded up and got him anyway mitigates that.
Quarterback is still an area of concern. It's doubtful Savage will be ready to play next season, so Ryan Fitzpatrick will have to be the man, barring another move. This team won't get very far that way, no matter how much other improvements they have made. But you get the impression they aren't done. There will be other free agents who become contract casualties in June, and the Texans should be players in that market, especially when it comes to corners, defensive linemen and inside wide receivers.
But after the weekend, they are closer to being a good team than they were last week. How it translates into wins and losses remains to be seen, but Texans fans should feel good about this draft.