Texans draft preview: Houston can set up for future despite lack of picks

NRG Stadium
The Houston Texans must make smart moves in the NFL Draft. Photo from Houston Chronicle.

The Houston Texans are in about as bad a position a rebuilding professional sports team can be in. Their superstar quarterback demanded to be traded away from the organization, and was shortly thereafter blitzed by a plethora of very serious legal allegations. Houston fan favorite J.J. Watt asked for his release, and ended up joining the Arizona Cardinals, where former Texans star DeAndre Hopkins currently plays. Worst of all, the list of Texans draft needs a mile long.

Unfortunately, they have no picks in the first or second round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

Houston Texans draft needs 2021

While the immediate future for the Texans looks bleak, the rebuilding process in the NFL can only take a short year or two. Despite their dearth of high draft picks, Houston still has a chance to make good on the selections they do have, by finding diamonds in the rough who will be on the roster with affordable contracts.

Which positions should the Texans prioritize with their picks in the 2021 NFL Draft? Their first selection is number 67 in the third round, and number 109 in the fourth round.

Defensive Tackle

No team gave up more yards rushing last season than the Houston Texans, and that inadequacy usually indicates that a team is not as stout as they need to be up the middle.

It’s hard to give up 5.2 yards per carry to opposing offenses on the ground and ever think the defense will get off the field, so that is an area Houston will need to address in the draft.

There are a lot of interior defensive linemen who could be options for the Texans in the third round. Louisiana Tech’s Milton Williams, North Carolina State’s Alim McNeil, or Florida State’s Marvin Wilson could be considerations for Houston.

It would not be redundant for them for select another interior player in the fourth round, considering how deficient they were there last season.


Defensive End

As noted above, the Texans will start an NFL season this September without J.J. Watt for the first time in ten years. Watt compiled over 10 sacks in five years out of his decade long stint with Houston, and his presence will be sorely missed on the edge.

The Texans’ secondary is actually not bad with some veteran cornerbacks on the roster, but a consistent pass rush definitely helps strengthen the pass coverage on the back end.

Carlos Basham Jr. out of Wake Forest would be a nice acquisition for Houston if he’s available early in the third round.

In his sophomore and junior seasons with the Demon Deacons, he totalled a combined 14.5 sacks. He was on his way to another double digit sack campaign last year, but was slowed by injury and a positive COVID test. Basham should be healthy and ready for his rookie season, however.

Center

There is a little bit of a trend taking place with this Texans draft needs piece. Many fans would suggest that Houston try to find a replacement for Deshaun Watson, who seems likely to either not be on the team or miss games on the commissioner’s exempt list.

However, the team doesn’t have much draft capital to work with to bring in a blue chip signal caller, so they are almost better off just rolling with NFL veteran Tyrod Taylor for a year, and building up their talent in the trenches.

This includes the center position, which is currently manned by veteran Justin Britt. He’s a solid player, but is about to turn 30, and is on the last year of his deal.

Britt would also be a prime candidate to be traded to a contending team. As such, the Texans could start to search for their future man in the middle in this draft. Georgia’s Trey Smith could get a close look, as well as Ohio State’s Josh Meyers.

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About Andrew Pistone 75 Articles
Andrew is a contributor to Franchise Sports, who believes that Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick's no look pass while being facemasked against the Las Vegas Raiders was better than any Magic Johnson assist on the fast break.

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