The Houston Texans selected Jacksonville State wide receiver Alan Bonner, Bowling Green defensive tackle Chris Jones and Connecticut tight end Ryan Griffin in the sixth round of the NFL draft Saturday after moving to bolster their linebacker corps.
Bonner was taken with the 195th pick before taking Jones with the 198th selection and Griffin with the 201st overall pick.
Bonner caught 50 passes for 859 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior. Jones, who was a third-team AP All-American and named MAC Defensive Player of the Year, had 42 tackles, including 19 for loss and 12.5 sacks. Griffin caught 29 passes for 484 yards and six touchdowns for Connecticut.
Houston traded with Oakland to get the 176th pick, sending the 184th pick and the Texans' seventh round selection, the 233rd pick, to the Raiders. Houston traded back earlier in the day, sending the 160th overall pick to the St. Louis Rams for the 184th and 198th picks.
Houston began the day selecting Connecticut outside linebacker Trevardo Williams in the fourth round with the 124th pick. Earlier in the sixth round, the Texans picked San Jose State offensive tackle David Quessenberry with the 176th overall selection.
Houston Texans linebackers coach Reggie Herring said Williams adds speed to the Texans' special teams and defense.
Herring said Williams could play with Montgomery at the strong side linebacker position, and the selections give the Texans the options to possibly move outside linebacker Brooks Reed inside.
"Brooks Reed has played inside for us at times," Herring said. "We feel very comfortable with that move if that is an option to get our best eleven on the field."
Herring said that Reed embraced the idea after the season and he was excited about it.
"That's something I don't want to get nailed down to right now," Herring said. "I would feel extremely, and I know (defensive coordinator) Wade (Phillips) feels the same way, extremely comfortable with moving Brooks Reed inside. Like I said, I've got a highlight tape of him playing inside last year and he might be, without hurting anybody's feelings, he might be the second best (inside linebacker) on campus right now."
Adding Williams and Montgomery gives the Texans more linebackers, which Herring said in the Texans' system, the more linebackers, the better.
"They give flexibility within your system, which is critical," Herring said. "Our numbers outside were down."
Herring said that despite his size, Williams is fast.
"The guy can fly, and the transition to this league without knowing any technique or fundamental skills on rushing the passer in this league, if you are fast, you have a chance to be successful early before you even learn any techniques," Herring said. "Fast is important."
Williams said he played at defensive end, stand up and like a linebacker in college, but several things set him apart from other defensive ends.
"My speed, my versatility, my explosiveness, my agility, my athleticism," Williams said. "I have the whole package."
The Texans selected Clemson wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins with the 27th overall pick on Thursday. Houston picked South Carolina safety D.J. Swearinger in the second round at 57th overall before selecting North Carolina offensive tackle Brennan Williams and LSU defensive end Sam Montgomery in the third round with the 89th and 95th overall selections, respectively.