Houston Texans 7-Round 2022 Mock Draft: Building A Strong Defense

Ahmad Gardner, 2022 NFL Mock Draft. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Ahmad Gardner, 2022 NFL Mock Draft. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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2022 NFL Draft, Ahmad Gardner
Dec 4, 2021; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats cornerback Ahmad Gardner (1) celebrates after a sack of Houston Cougars quarterback Clayton Tune (not pictured) in the second quarter during the American Athletic Conference championship game at Nippert Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kareem Elgazzar/The Cincinnati Enquirer via USA TODAY NETWORK /

Round 1, 3rd Overall: Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati

The Houston Texans could easily be in play for edge rusher here at pick three, but what if Travon Walker and Aidan Hutchinson are the first two picks? My guess is they’ll pivot elsewhere, and the conversation might just start at the cornerback position.

Desmond King is slated to be the slot guy, but they don’t have a true lockdown corner. Ahmad Gardner can be that guy. He has the size and length to succeed in press-man schemes, as well as the eyes and downhill trigger to play in zone. While he’s a bit stiff in transitions, he makes up for it with the length to shrink throwing windows. Getting a player of Gardner’s caliber gives the defenRouse an immediate boost.

Round 1, 13th Overall: Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia

Could there be an edge defender/rusher worth the selection at 13? Perhaps! But, why not just roll with some value here and take one of the most impressive players in the 2022 NFL Draft, Georgia’s Jordan Davis.

Davis was an early down player with the Bulldogs, and it’s fair to question the upside as a pass rusher. But, when he can attack linearly, he does a good job. If teams get into pin/pull concepts, he can get into the backfield quickly. Obviously, he’ll be a nightmare for opposing offenses at the point of attack, and he’ll make things easier for the secondary. If Davis hits the ceiling, he can be Vita Vea. That’s definitely worth it here.