It’s day 23 of Draftmas and the Houston Texans are on the clock.
Last year the Houston Texans got to the playoffs yet again, but lost in the Divisional Round for the third time since 2011. They will be trying to build on that this season, but will have a hard time doing so without a franchise quarterback.
The offense was pretty miserable last season, scoring 17.4 points per game. Rushing offense was their forte, as they ranked eighth in the league.
Brock Osweiler is gone, which is addition by subtraction, but Tom Savage is the top quarterback on the depth chart now. The Texans have said they are confident in him, but will likely want to find at the very least, a quarterback for the future in this draft. Lamar Miller did the most he could last season behind a not so good offensive line. If they draft a running back it will only be a change of pace back.
Deandre Hopkins is a great receiver, but behind him there are some problems. Will Fuller showed flashes last season, but was very inconsistent. Braxton Miller has to step up next season too. C.J. Fiedorowicz is a good option at tight end. The offensive line will need some improvements, as left tackle Duane Brown and center Greg Mancz were the only players who played well up front last season.
Defensively, Houston was in the top half of the league in rush defense, allowing 1,595 rushing yards on the season. Their pas defense ranked second in the league last season, but has some key components to replace.
J.J. Watt will return from injury and the hope is that he can return to the great form he had just a few seasons ago. The rest of the defensive line needs to be addressed, especially with the risk of Watt re-injuring himself. Outside linebacker is set with Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus. Inside linebacker is also solid for the time being with Brian Cushing and Benardrick McKinney, but the Texans could elect to take a guy in the late rounds to groom for the future.
The secondary will need some work as well. A.J. Bouye has left for the Jaguars. Jonathan Joseph is aging and while Kevin Johnson and Kareem Jackson are solid, they will need to find some more good corners behind them. Corey Moore and Andre Hal are both average safeties, but could be upgraded.
Picks and Needs
The Texans have seven picks in the 2017 NFL Draft. If they select the right players, they can find themselves back in the playoffs again.
First round: (1) No. 25
Second round: (1) No. 57
Third round: (1) No. 89
Fourth round: (2) No. 131, No. 142
Fifth round: (1) No. 169
Sixth round: (0)
Seventh round: (1) No. 243
These needs are in no particular order.
Guard- Xavier Su’a-Filo hasn’t lived up to expectations and Jeff Allen only played good for one season. They could at least use one from the later rounds.
Defensive Line- The Texans need help and depth around J.J. Watt.
Cornerback- Losing A.J. Bouye is tough, but Houston still has a few decent corners. They will need one for the future and that can play in the dime.
Safety- Both Moore and Hal are average and improvements can be found in this draft.
Targets and Thoughts
The picks here are who the Texans could realistically get where they are drafting. There will be no trades.
Pick #25: Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
Watson is a quarterback that the fans and media love, but that NFL scouts aren’t as sold on. He could go higher than this if a team likes him like the fans do, but if he is drafted closer to where scouts say he should be, the Texans will be able to get him. He needs to develop and become better mentally as a quarterback, as his decision making was not good last season at Clemson. Watson is a dynamic playmaker though and could battle Savage for the starting job.
Pick #57: Tanoh Kpassagnon, DE, Villanova
Kpassagnon is a huge defensive end that needs to get better while in the NFL. He comes from the FCS level, which will raise some questions about the level of competition he faced, but he will be a perfect fit for the Texans 3-4 defense.
Pick #89: Taylor Moton, OT, Western Michigan
The Texans need to get improved offensive line play and Moton will be available. He played right tackle in college and can do that in the NFL, or move to guard. He should be able to fit in at one of the positions of need on the offensive line for Houston.
The Texans have gotten to the playoffs without a franchise quarterback before and can do it again. Even if they take Watson, or any other quarterback in this draft class, he likely won’t play lights out from day one. Taking good players in this draft and getting J.J. Watt back to form can lead the Texans back to the playoffs.
You can read all of the previous days of Draftmas here!
“From Our Haus to Yours”