HOUSTON — The Houston Texans will have options when selecting No. 3 overall next April in the NFL Draft. After finishing the season 4-13, Houston will be near the top of every round collecting top talent that may have dropped due to trades or other issues.
Here’s the thing: What if the Texans were limited with their draft picks? What if Houston could only select players from the Senior Cup 2022 instead of the best of the bunch?
Would that change the general manager Nick Caserio execution project? Would that make a difference in the position Houston covets the most?
For that fake draft, TexansDaily will only select players who have participated in events at Hancock Whitney Stadium.
No. 3 – Jeremaine Johnson, DE, Florida State
Should Houston be looking to correct their offensive line or their defensive line? Based on Johnson’s production all week, this would be a slam dunk selection by the Texans to add to their passing rush.
After posting a career-high 11.5 sacks in his final season with the Seminoles, Johnson wowed scouts on back-to-back days in Mobile. His turning, size, speed and disruptive play during team drills made him a nightmare on nearly every rep for offensive linemen to block.
The Texans have a building block on one side of the line with team leader Jonathan Greenard returning for his third season. Pairing Johnson to create a hybrid combination of size and speed is a scary thought for opposing offensive lines.
No. 37 – Jalen Pitre, S, Baylor
Houston needs a point guard safety who can defend the run or play in zone coverage deep on the sideline with Justin Reid expected to leave in free agency. There was no more dominant defensive back than Pitre during the three days of practice.
Pitre, who played a “STAR” defensive role for Baylor’s 4-2-5 system, was best known for his ability to defend the run. With the New York Jets staff, it was his covering ability that impressed on a consistent level. Whether lined up in the box or deep in a Cover 2 look, Pitre made plays on the ball and physically defended the pass.
Although his 5-11 frame may trick teams into thinking he’s a great nickel defender. Pitre is much more than a one trick pony. He’s an ideal replacement for Reid and could very well be the real pick at No. 37 with a strong showing at the NFL Combine next month.
No. 68 – Coby Bryant, BC, Cincinnati
Tavierre Thomas is set to return after a promising end to last season. The only issue is that it’s slot-restricted and probably wouldn’t fit outside due to its frame.
Bryant, the 6-1 Jim Thorpe Award winner, is an ideal name to watch on the outside. Although he measured a little shorter than expected, the former Bearcat did a quality job mirroring receivers coming off the breaks and was physical when asked to play in men’s coverage.
The Texans need help on the perimeter of their secondary. Bryant has the size, speed and awareness to be the team’s No. 2 cornerback while becoming a starter right away.
No. 80 – Jake Ferguson, TE, Wisconsin
The Texans have a promising prospect with Brevin Jordan entering his second season. While Houston should feel comfortable with the former Hurricane, it’s more of a flexible option. Keep in mind that Jordan is also the only tight end on the roster.
Ferguson is no master of anything, but he does everything at a top level. As an online blocker, he wins many battles with his physical style of play. As a road runner, his speed is too fast for linebacker, but his 6-foot-4, 244-pound frame can be tough for safeties to knock down.
#134 – Tyler Badie, RB, Mo.
Houston couldn’t lead football in 2021. It averaged a minimum of 3.4 yards per carry and was one of three teams that averaged less than 100 yards per game rushing. In fact, the only rushing stat Houston didn’t finish last was running, though that didn’t seem to matter to production.
A scatbacker with immense speed, Baide was arguably one of the best players this week on Mobile. He has track legs that can win long strides despite his 5-7 frame being a dangerous runner on the edge. Where he really impressed was in pass protection and through midfield.
No. 183 – Bo Melton, WR, Rutgers
The Texans need a lunge receiver who can win those tough yards down the middle. With a trend towards gimmicky players that can be used in multiple ways, perhaps Houston should look into these types of players.
Melton has a little Curtis Samuel to his game. While he’s best used on swing routes and fast tilts, the Jets have also used his speed on sweeps and throws as a runner.
#206 – Troy Andersen, LB, Montana State
Linebacking is still a need largely due to special teams. Kamu Grugier-Hill got his start as a special teams ace before becoming Houston’s top tackle last season.
If you go back and watch the movie, Andersen was everywhere. From playing the run to covering tight ends in a man’s look, the Montana State alum has consistently flown into football. In time, he could end up being a three-way steal and thumper.
#208 – Zyon McCollum, BC, Sam Houston State
What’s better than a cornerback in the draft? Why not two? McCollum’s 6-2 frame is an ideal fit for the outside, and his physicality is a plus on special teams.
#244 – Spencer Buford, OT, UTSA
Too much protection for a quarterback is not a bad thing. Buford is inconsistent as a pass blocker, but showed a good mix of balance in run blocking sets. Over time, he could be a quality swing tackle.