2022 NFL Draft Notebook: Houston Texans Seven Round Mock Draft

2022 NFL Mock Draft, Aidan Hutchinson. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
2022 NFL Mock Draft, Aidan Hutchinson. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /

One team that will enter the offseason with plenty of chances to upgrade this offseason is the Houston Texans. The team will be close to 43 million under the salary cap which should allow them to add a couple of free agents. However, the area the team will look to add the most talent is the 2022 NFL Draft. If the Texans use their picks wisely they should be able to add several difference makers to their roster, since they currently have the number three pick in the 2022 NFL Draft and have a total of four picks in the first three rounds. The Texans will also be in a great position to add more draft picks depending on what they do with Deshaun Watson this offseason.

Along with taking a look at what the Houston Texans might do in the 2022 NFL Draft this week’s NFL Draft Notebook also takes a look at the following

  • What players stood out in conferences championship week
  • The top kickers in the 2022 NFL Draft
  • One prospect each AFC West team should consider with their first pick
  • And much more

Houston Texans 2022 Mock Draft

Going into the 2022 offseason the Houston Texans have several questions they need to address with the top one being what they do with Deshaun Watson. The Texans will likely look to trade him before the 2022 NFL Draft, but if Watson is still battling legal issues or a possible suspension they might not be able to find the value they want for him. Houston also needs to decide if Davis Mills can develop into a starting quarterback in the NFL and if not is a quarterback worth a high pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Along with addressing the quarterback position the Houston Texans have several other areas to address including offensive line, the secondary and pass rusher. Luckily for the team, they have nine draft picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, which should allow them to address these needs.

Round 1, 3rd Overall: Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Michigan

The Texans will likely decide no quarterback is worth a high first-round pick, and instead add the best player on the board. In Hutchinson, the team gets one of the best pass rushers to come out of college the past couple of seasons. He would also team with Jon Greenard to give the Houston Texans two young promising pass rushers. If Hutchinson is already off this board the team could look at Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux or Alabama offensive tackle Evan Neal.

Round 2, 34th Overall: Jaxson Kirkland, OT, Washington

Houston has had one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL this season, so addressing it early in the 2022 NFL Draft is a must. The first player the team takes to address this weakness is Washington offensive tackle, Jaxson Kirkland. Kirkland is a prospect who shows a lot of potential and with some technique work should be able to develop into a quality starter in the NFL.

Round 3, 67th Overall: Josh Jobe, CB, Alabama

While the Houston Texans secondary has done a good job of taking the ball away this season they also rank in the bottom third in terms of passing yards allowed. The team could possibly lose starting cornerback Desmond King in free agency this offseason as well, which makes this a position the team needs to address in the 2022 NFL Draft. With the selection of Josh Jobe, the team picks up a good-sized physical corner who should fit well in the Texans secondary.

Round 3, 73rd Overall: Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State

To say the Houston Texans need to upgrade the running back position is an understatement. The team does not have a back who has rushed for more than 300 yards this season and every back on the roster averages under 3.5 yards per carry.

Round 4, 126th Overall: Bailey Zappe, QB, Western Kentucky

While there will be rumors about Houston taking a quarterback in the first round of the NFL Draft, they might be best off by adding a quarterback on day three of the 2022 NFL Draft. This will give them one more year to evaluate Davis Mills and yet add some competition at the quarterback position. Plus, if neither of these players works out they should be in a great position to draft either Bryce Young or CJ Stroud in 2023.

Round 6, 181st Overall: Marcus Jones, CB, Houston

One position the Houston Texans need to address on special teams is kick returner especially if they lose Desmond King. The best return man in the 2022 NFL Draft might be Houston cornerback who has returned four kicks for touchdowns this season. In addition to helping out on special teams Jones is a quick corner who could possibly see time as a nickel corner.

Round 6, 199th Overall: Cam Taylor-Britt, CB, Nebraska

The Houston Texans address the secondary for a third time in this draft and the second time in the sixth round. Taylor-Britt is another good sized corner who has played both corner and safety at Nebraska. It would not be a surprise if Houston moved Taylor-Britt to safety due to his lack of elite speed and because the team needs help at this position especially if they lose Justin Reid in free agency or decide to cut Eric Murray this offseason.

Round 6, 209th Overall: Alex Forsyth, C, Oregon

After taking Jaxson Kirkland in the second round the Texans address the offensive line again in the sixth round of the 2022 NFL Draft. This time Houston takes an interior offensive line with the selection of Oregon center Alex Forsyth. Forsyth should be able to add depth behind Justin Britt if the team decides to resign him this offseason.

Round 7, 243rd Overall: Reed Blankenship, S, Middle Tennessee

With the last pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, Houston adds a player who should be a key contributor on special teams. Blankenship can be used as a cover man on kickoffs and punts since he does a great job of tackling in open space. He also should be a key contributor on the team’s field goal block team having blocked two kicks in 2019. Along with helping out on special teams, he would be able to provide depth at safety.

2022 NFL Draft: Stock Up

Sincere McCormick, RB, UTSA
The star of the C-USA championship game was UTSA running back Sincere McCormick. On the day McCormick rushed the ball 36 times for 204 yards and three touchdowns. He also was able to haul in three passes for 35 yards. This was the eighth time this season McCormick rushed for over 100 yards in a game and his third game where he was able to account for at least 150 yards on the ground.

Devin Lloyd, MLB, Utah
A prospect who took himself from a preseason third-round grade to a possible top ten selection is Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd. In the Pac-12 title game, he came away with the play of the game when he picked off a pass and returned it for a touchdown, which is the second pick-six he has had this year. This game tops off an outstanding season for Llyod who finished the season with 107 tackles, seven sacks and four interceptions.

Jerome Ford, RB, Cincinnati
Cincinnati running back running back Jerom Ford burst out of his slump in the ACC Championship game. Ford had not rushed for 100 yards in a game in his previous five games after rushing for over 100 yards in four of the Bearcats first six games. However, last Saturday he looked like the back we saw earlier in the season accounting for 187 rushing yards on 18 carries. In this game he displayed his home run hitting speed with a run of 79 yards and also showed good elusiveness in the open field.

Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh
Saturday was a record-breaking day for Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett. The first record he broke on the day came on his first touchdown pass which broke Dan Marino’s school record of 79 career touchdown passes. On his second touchdown of the night, he broke the ACC record for touchdown passes in a season. Along with setting these records he also helped Pittsburgh win its first ever ACC championship.

2022 NFL Draft: Stock Down

John Metchie III, WR, Alabama
While Alabama pulled off a big victory on Saturday the news was not all positive for the Crimson Tide. The negative news mainly centred around John Metchie who suffered a season-ending knee injury in the final minute of the first half. Metchie suffered the injury while trying to break down on one of his routes when his knee buckled. The injury was later diagnosed as a torn ACL, and if he declares for the draft it will likely prevent him from working out for teams.


Taysir Mack, WR, Pittsburgh
The past couple of seasons have not been the best for Pittsburgh wide receiver Taysir Mack when it comes to staying on the football field. Mack has now missed five straight games this season with an arm injury, and he also battled injuries last season causing him to miss significant time. On the positive side, he has been productive when on the field having caught 27 passes for 461 yards and three touchdowns in just eight games this season. However, to hear his name called in the 2022 NFL Draft he will have to prove to teams he can stay on the field.

Sam Hartman, QB, Wake Forest
When things go bad for Wake Forest quarterback Sam Hartman they really go bad. His latest nightmare performance came against Pittsburgh in the ACC championship game. In this game Hartman was picked off four times, was sacked five times and only completed 46% of his passes. Some other games that have to concern NFL scouts about Hartman include vs. North Carolina State this year when he threw three interceptions and vs. Wisconsin last year which was another game he threw four interceptions in.

JT Daniels, QB, Georgia
While Georgia had a good season this year one player who did not see his draft stock improve is quarterback JT Daniels. Daniels went into the 2021 season carrying a third-round draft grade after throwing for 1,231 yards and ten touchdowns in just four games in 2020. However, after battling injuries this season and losing his starting job to walk-on Stetson Bennett it is hard to see Daniels hearing his name called in the 2022 NFL Draft if he decides to declare.

Kicker Rankings

Kickers with draftable grades

Cade York, LSU
The top kicker in the 2022 NFL Draft is LSU’s Cade York. What makes York the top kicker is his leg strength having made 15-19 kicks of 50 yards or more. This included a school-record 57-yard field goal last year against Florida, which was kicked in dense fog and won the game for the Tigers. One of the few downfalls with York is that he does not kick off which might cause him to slide to the sixth or seventh round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Gabe Brkic, Oklahoma
Despite struggling down the stretch this season Oklahoma’s Gabe Brkic is another kicker who could hear his name called in the 2022 NFL Draft. What allows Brkic to carry a late-round grade despite only making 75% of his kicks this season and 77% of his kicks last season is his leg strength. This season Brkic has been able to connect on two field goals of 56 yards and had plenty of room to spare on both kicks. It would not be a surprise if some team took a seventh-round flyer on Brkic if he decided to declare for this year’s draft.

Best of the rest
Will Reichard, Alabama
Hunter Duplessis, UTSA
Nick Sciba, Wake Forest
Parker White, South Carolina
Noah Ruggles, Ohio State
Ethan Ratke, James Madison
Chandler Staton, Appalachian State

Prospects For The AFC West

A look at one prospect each AFC West team might take with their top draft pick.

Denver Broncos

A team that will definitely be in the quarterback market this offseason is the Denver Broncos. It would not be a surprise if Denver traded for a quarterback like Aaron Rodgers or Deshaun Watson before the 2022 NFL Draft, but if this doesn’t happen look for them to take a quarterback early in the draft. A player who they might target is Kenny Pickett of Pittsburgh who might still be available in the middle of the first round.

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs are in the market to add a third weapon to their passing game to go along with wide receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce. A prospect who could fit this need and is the explosive type of wide receiver the Chiefs prefer is Ohio State’s Garrett Wilson. The Chiefs could also look to upgrade their secondary or offensive line with this pick.

Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders will enter the 2022 offseason with plenty of questions including who will be coaching the team next year, will Mike Mayock be back as general manager and if the team will commit to Derek Carr long term. However, one thing is certain and that is the team must upgrade their run defense starting with the defensive tackle position. The best run defender in the 2022 NFL Draft is Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis and he would be a good fit for the Raiders in the middle of the first round.

Los Angeles Chargers

Like the Raiders, the Los Angeles Chargers are another team who will look to address the defensive line in the 2022 NFL Draft. This is a need since the team might lose Linval Joseph, Justin Jones, and Christian Covington in free agency. The Chargers also have only been average at stopping the run this season which is another reason they will look to upgrade the interior defensive line. An ideal fit for Brandon Staley’s defense is Texas A&M defensive tackle DeMarvin Leal.

Scouting Notes

— A player to watch at the Senior Bowl is Baylor safety, Jalen Pitre. Pitre who was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year last week is a prospect who has the potential to develop into a starting strong safety in the NFL. One of the traits that stand out with Pitre is his ability to get his hands on the ball as he was the only player in FBS with at least three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and two interceptions. One concern he will need to address at the Senior Bowl though is how well he holds up in a traditional safety role. This is worth watching as Baylor played Pitre at a safety/linebacker hybrid position last year, and he was not asked to cover as much as a traditional safety is.

— The most interesting thing to watch in the college football season to see where the top transfers will end up one season. One position that has a ton of talent is the quarterback position with some of the top players being Spencer Rattler, Dillion Gabriel, Jake Haener, and Adrian Martinez. It would not be a shock if we saw a few of these players drafted in the 2023 NFL Draft if they can have a big season with their new team next year.

— An added benefit a team will get with North Carolina running back Ty Chandler is his ability to return kicks. While playing at the University of Tennessee from 2017-2020 Chandler averaged 19 yards per kickoff return and finished his career with the 14th most return yards in Vols history. As a runner, Chandler is a quick back who shows the ability to be a receiver out of the backfield. However, his lack of power and pass blocking ability will likely cause him to go late on day three of the 2022 NFL Draft.

— Not often do you find a fullback who has experience returning kicks, has broken off a 96-yard run and runs the 40-yard dash in 4.73 seconds but that is exactly what you find in Northern Illinois fullback Clint Ratkovich. This impressive background is why Ratkovich is one of the more intriguing fullbacks in the 2022 NFL Draft. His versatility should allow him to be used in multiple ways in the NFL including as a receiver out of the backfield, a ball carrier in shortage situations, and even as an H-back at times.

— A running back who is being overlooked in the 2022 NFL Draft is Xazavian Valladay of Wyoming. When watching his film it is hard not to come away impressed with his physical style of play. He does a terrific job of keeping his feet moving and not losing his balance on first contact. He has shown he can help out in the passing game as well catching 23 passes this season for 233 yards. It would not be a surprise if Valladay is a running back who goes late in the 2022 NFL Draft yet sees significant time in the NFL.

Quote of the Week

“Kenny Pickett is a winner. He is a great competitor with physical skills. He appears to have all of those intangible qualities that make a quarterback great. And I certainly have great admiration for how he plays the game. I have a ton of respect for him.” Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson on Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett.