Texans 2022 Draft Grade
Houston Texans Draft Grade 2022
It has been an eventful two years for the Houston Texans. It started with star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins being traded to the Arizona Cardinals before the 2020 season, then former head coach Bill O’Brien was fired after the 2020 season. JJ Watt was released and signed with Arizona Cardinals during the previous offseason, the Texans fired David Culley after one year of being the head coach. Finally, on top of all that, they traded franchise quarterback DeShaun Watson to the Cleveland Browns after he was cleared of criminal charges.
Now that the Texans have cleaned house, they can now focus on rebuilding this franchise from the ground up. Recently hired head coach Lovie Smith is no stranger to helping a team rebuild, so his first draft as the Houston Texans head coach was all about getting quality players at quality positions. Let’s see who he selected in the draft and give the Texans a draft grade.
Round 1, Pick 3: Derek Stingley Jr, CB, LSU
Stingley was arguably the best cornerback in the draft depending on what team or scout you were talking to. If you were basing it off his 2019-20 tape, where he put on one of the best seasons as a true freshman in college football, he would have been in the race to become the number 1 overall pick. Since his phenomenal freshman season, Stingley had sort of a downfall in his performance. During his last two seasons at LSU, he was held back by multiple injuries, and his passion to play was called into question. For Stingley, the draft process was mostly about answering questions about his injury history and passion for the game. The Texans are hoping they get the Stingley from his freshman year. I would not call this pick risky, because I feel Stingley will live up to his playing potential. The only thing that will prevent him from doing so is if he is unable to stay healthy. This was a great pick in my opinion.
Round 1, Pick 15: Kenyon Green, G, Texas A&M
Kenyon Green was one of the top interior offensive linemen in the draft this year. What made him so desirable to teams is his versatility to play all five positions of the offensive line. Some teams and scouts project him to start his career inside as a guard, with the flexibility to play tackle if needed. With this selection, the Texans continue to add resources to the offense to help Davis Mills and see if he is the answer at quarterback moving forward. Green will start immediately to help Mills stay upright.
Round 2, Pick 37: Jalen Pitre, S, Baylor
The Texans used this pick to again address their secondary that is depleted of talent and was ranked at the bottom in defensive passing categories. Jalen Pitre is a versatile player that can line up as both a safety and slot corner. He played mostly as a slot corner last season for the Baylor Bears. Pitre has good coverage skills in the slot, he is not afraid to make tackles on the perimeter, and he plays like a center fielder when he is lined up as a safety. The Texans’ secondary will be improved wherever they decide to line him up. Getting Pitre this late in the second round is great value, as he was projected to go late in the first round.
Round 2, Pick 44: John Metchie, WR, Alabama
The Texans are taking a shot on Metchie late in the second round. He is coming off an ACL injury he suffered during the SEC Championship Game against Georgia. Before his injury, Metchie was considered one of the top wide receivers in the nation and the draft. He was having a great season where he recorded 96 receptions for 1,142 yards and eight touchdowns. Most of his receptions came from the slot, where the Texans have had no production in the past few seasons. If Metchie can return to form, The Texans may have found a comparable receiver across from Brandon Cooks, who recently signed an extension with the team.
Round 3, Pick 75: Christian Harris, LB, Alabama
Harris may not be the ideal size of an NFL linebacker, but his play on the field makes you forget about that when you watch him play. He has great speed to run sideline to sideline, he can finish tackles, can cover in space, and he can rush the passer if he is asked to. Harris did have some injury issues while at Alabama, but that did not prevent the Texans from drafting him. They are hoping he can stay healthy and contribute to the defense right away.
Round 4, Pick 107: Dameon Pierce, RB, Florida
Pierce was one of my favorite running back prospects in this year’s draft. He is a bowling ball with good speed, and he is a headache to tackle as a defender. The Texans did not get any production from their running backs last season. They averaged around 3.4 yards per carry, which was the worst in the league. At Florida, Pierce averaged around six yards per carry and he had 16 scrimmage touchdowns. The Texans signed running back Marlon Mack this offseason which will help give depth to the running back position. I believe Mack will start at the beginning of the season, but I believe Pierce will take over the starting position by mid-season.
Round 5, Pick 150: Thomas Booker, DT, Stanford
Booker will help improve the interior of the defensive line. He is good at filling running lanes and making it difficult for the running back to find a hole to run through. The Texans were an embarrassment defending the run last season. This came from a lack of presence in the middle of the defensive line. Booker serves as a rotational player to start out his career. He has the potential to become a starter later in his career.
Round 5, Pick:170 Teagan Quitoriano, TE, Oregon State
The Texans add depth to the tight end position after an impressive end-of-season performance by rookie Brevin Jordan. Adding Quitoriano to the roster gives the team another well-rounded tight end who can help them in the run game with his blocking skills, and he is another receiving option for Davis Mills. He will start off as a rotational player that comes in on certain offensive packages.
Round 6, Pick:205 Austin Deculus, T, LSU
I see no problem with the Texans adding more depth to their offensive line. Deculus is an experienced right tackle who has started since he was a freshman. He has played in over 60 games while attending LSU. Deculus’s best trait is his run blocking. He can move another human being with ease at time. I expect him to start his career off as a swing tackle filling in when he needs to.
Texans Draft Grade Overall: B
Final Thoughts on Houston Texans Draft
The Texans came into this draft needing help at every position. They started off with a surprise by picking Derek Stingly Jr., who was arguably the top corner in the draft. If his injury issues are resolved, The Texans may have gotten the best overall player in the draft. The Texans’ next few picks in my opinion could really help the team take a positive step in the right direction. The selections of Kenyon Green, Jalen Pitre, John Metchie, and Christian Harris were great picks because all four players will be starters in week one of the regular season.
The rest of the Texan’s picks will contribute to the team right away, but as rotational players. Overall, I believe the Texans have set themselves up well for the future. If Davis Mills proves to be the right guy at the quarterback position, and this draft class produces well right away on the field; then the Texans will put themselves in contention for the AFC South.