- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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We’ve talked about how the Texans best value at No. 11 might wind up being a defensive end, even as they have two guys who they expect to play well at the spots in their new 3-4 in Mario Williams and Antonio Smith.
The better get would be a top-flight outside linebacker.
Todd McShay says in this Insider piece that the top five players in this draft who will translate well to the spot in the NFL are Von Miller of Texas A&M, Robert Quinn of North Carolina, Brooks Reed of Arizona, Akeem Ayers of UCLA and Justin Houston of Georgia. (Aldon Smith would be third, but they like him beefed up and playing end in a 4-3.)
The one we’ve heard talked about least for the Texans is Reed, who shares the same Scouts Inc. grade as Ayers, a point better than Houston.
“Reed lined up at defensive end in college and flew under the radar in 2010 after an ankle injury slowed him in '09, but studying tape of a healthy Reed reveals the quick first step, violent hands and nonstop motor to be a difference maker as a 3-4 OLB in the NFL. How quick is his get-off?
“Reed's 10-yard split in the 40-yard dash (1.54 seconds) was the fastest among all defensive linemen who worked out at the NFL combine. With his skills he would be a great fit for the Jets late in the first round.”
Those sound like some skills the Texans could certainly use as well as Wade Phillips looks for players to go with Connor Barwin outside. Maybe No. 11 is too high for Reed, but if they like him and can scoot back some he could be an appealing target.