The Houston Texans finished as one of the worst teams in the NFL in 2021 due to quaterback Deshaun Watson sitting out. The Texans produced a dismal 4-13 record this past season, earning them the No. 3 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
As we all know, Watson is no longer on the team after being traded to the Cleveland Browns this offseason, giving Houston even more draft capital for the future.
There’s no doubt that the Texans are amid a major rebuild as Lovie Smith is taking over as the team’s head coach. Davis Mills is likely to continue as the starting quarterback in 2022, allowing Houston to address multiple other positions in the draft.
It’s tough to envision the Texans competing in the AFC South next season as they have a bevy of holes to fill on their roster, but they were able to fill some of those gaps with nine selections in this year’s draft.
Here’s a recap of the Texans’ 2022 NFL Draft class.
Texans NFL Draft Picks 2022
- Round 1, Pick 3 (3rd Overall): Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU
- Round 1, Pick 15 (15th Overall): Kenyon Green, OG, Texas A&M
- Round 2, Pick 5 (37th Overall): Jalen Pitre, S, Baylor
- Round 2, Pick 12 (44th Overall): John Metchie III, WR, Alabama
- Round 3, Pick 11 (75th Overall): Christian Harris, LB, Alabama
- Round 4, Pick 2 (107th Overall): Dameon Pierce, RB, Florida
- Round 5, Pick 7 (150th Overall): Thomas Booker, DT, Stanford
- Round 5, Pick 27 (170th Overall): Teagan Quitoriano, TE, Oregon State
- Round 6, Pick 27 (205th Overall): Austin Deculus, OT, LSU
The Texans addressed needs both sides of the ball in the first round, nabbing elite cornerback prospect Derek Stingley Jr. at No. 3 before trading back a few spots in a deal with Philadelphia, which still allowed them to bolster their offensive line with guard Kenyon Green while adding three Day 3 picks.
That draft capital came in handy on Day 2 as Houston moved back up into the second round to select Alabama wideout John Metchie III. The selection of Metchie, who is coming off an ACL injury, was a bit of a reach according to our draft expert Marcus Mosher, but this WR group is devoid of talent and Metchie should provide an upgrade down the road.
Houston did select some players that will make an impact immediately, however, as former Baylor safety Jalen Pitre should join Stingley in the secondary on Day 1 and Alabama’s Christian Harris will add physicality to the linebacker group. The Texans ranked 22nd in DVOA against the pass and run last season, but this injection of talent and Lovie Smith’s defensive schemes should help them improve.
Day 3 of the draft was much more focused on the offensive side of the ball, as the Texans added depth at running back, tight end, and offensive tackle.
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Note: The Texans NFL Draft predictions below were published before the 2022 NFL Draft.
Pre-Draft Texans NFL Mock Draft Predictions 2022
- Round 1, Pick 3 (3rd Overall): Ikem Ekwonu, OT, North Carolina State
- Round 1, Pick 13 (13th Overall): Jermaine Johnson II, EDGE, Florida State
- Round 2, Pick 5 (37th Overall): Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn
- Round 3, Pick 4 (68th Overall): John Metchie III, WR, Alabama
- Round 3, Pick 16 (80th Overall): Josh Williams, CB, Fayetteville State
More Possible Texans Draft Targets: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama; Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia; Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State; George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue; Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU; Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati; Tariq Woolen, CB, UTSA; Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State; Derion Kendrick, CB, Georgia
Pre-Draft Texans Team Needs 2022
1. EDGE Rusher
Since the departures of J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney, the Texans have been longing to find impactful players on their defensive front. Houston could select an edge rusher with either of their first-round picks, as there should be a nice selection of pass rushers available to select.
We’ve seen teams have success building around talented pass-rushing units, and the Texans should follow suit by adding one in this year’s draft. Jonathan Greenard and Kingsley Keke are the current starters off of the edge for Houston, so there’s room for improvement.
Besides the edge rusher positions, teams tend to target having a formidable secondary to bolster their defense. The Texans currently have Desmond King and Lonnie Johnson Jr. listed as their top two cornerbacks, with Tremon Smith and Tavierre Thomas following them.
Provided that, Houston would be remiss not to add a cornerback or two in this year’s draft.
3. Offensive Tackle
Despite trade rumors floating around, the Texans elected to keep Laremy Tunsil this offseason. Even with Tunsil sticking around, Houston could use another offensive tackle to protect Mills or whoever the long-term answer is at the quarterback position.
This draft is loaded with offensive tackles, so there’s no excuse for the Texans not to grab someone to start at right tackle in front of Charlie Heck.
Texans May Also Consider Drafting: Running Back, Wide Receiver, Safety