The Houston Texans had a ton of draft capital for the 2022 NFL Draft, but their plan of attack felt off and their picks were a rollercoaster.
After finally trading away Deshaun Watson, the Houston Texans were officially ready to kick off their major rebuild. That rebuild would begin in the 2022 NFL Draft, where the Texans would have five picks in the top 75 selections, as well as picks on day three. This much draft capital had the ability to kick start a rebuild by getting cornerstone pieces on both sides of the ball.
The Texans swung for the fence early, selecting Derek Stingley Jr. with that third overall pick. Stingley, who has dealt with injury and inconsistency since his ridiculously good freshman season, has the talent to be a lockdown corner in the NFL. Question is, can he get back there?
After a pick that could have serious returns for a defense looking for a cornerstone, the Texans took Kenyon Green to boost the offensive line. Green played four positions in 2021 for the Aggies, most notably left tackle against Alabama, where he dealt with two future top five picks well. Green wasn’t the top-ranked guard available for everyone, but their commitment to protecting Davis Mills (and potentially their future QB) won’t be met with too much discourse.
Jalen Pitre was a fun selection early on day two, but the question of usage is what’s confusing about the selection. Pitre took the vast majority of his snaps in the slot, which is likely where the returning Desmond King will play. If either are moving to safety, that’s a projection that has question marks.
John Metchie III produced well at Alabama, as a natural separator with great technique in both his release and route stems. Hopefully his knee injury didn’t sap too much of his explosiveness, because a trio of Metchie, Brandin Cooks, and Nico Collins is a good one for Mills.
Christian Harris wasn’t everyone’s favorite linebacker, but his athleticism makes perfect sense for a Lovie Smith scheme. Dameon Pierce could snatch the top running back spot as a rookie. Thomas Booker is one of the smarter players in the draft.
So how was it a rollercoaster? In a year where defense reigned supreme, especially at edge rusher, the Texans avoided it completely. Jon Greenard is a good player, but they had the chance to transform the defensive line. Stingley is a risk. Trading out of getting Jordan Davis, and not selecting Zion Johnson over Green, was surprising. Receiver felt a little forced, they selected yet another tight end late, and their secondary will still have questions. Time will tell about this draft class, but for the Houston Texans, it felt like a draft where they should’ve come away with more, especially with the draft capital they had. It felt like a ping pong game of reaching and getting value.