The Houston Texans don’t have a first or second round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Both were traded to the Dolphins for a left tackle who will have a cap hit of $26 million next season after agreeing to a contract restructure. Laremy Tunsil is a cornerstone player on a 4-12 football team. I’ll keep saying it, and I’ll say it over and over again: Left tackles are important, but they aren’t that important.
Although Houston is accordingly left out of most mock drafts since they don’t have a selection in the first two rounds, they do have the ability to trade back up by sending Deshaun Watson to a new franchise. The recent troubling allegations have made what was already a difficult situation even more difficult.
Todd McShay from ESPN published a two round mock draft this week. Nearly every mock draft published has Houston still selecting somewhere in the first round after a Watson trade and then using a high pick to select a quarterback. In this iteration, the Texans do absolutely nothing. Trevor Lawrence goes to Jacksonville, Zach Wilson goes to New York (J), Mac Jones goes to San Francisco (who traded with Miami to acquire what was Houston’s first round pick), Trey Lance goes to Carolina, Justin Fields goes to New England, and the Texans are left searching amongst the following names entering the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft:
Even before the Watson allegations, no one had any idea what the Texans would do. Would they trade their franchise quarterback, or would they play hardball? If they made a trade, would they get a young quarterback with potential who is already in the league, or would they try to hit gold twice? If they did select someone, who would their target be? What would the haul for Watson be?
Now, in a strange turn of events and a bizarre monkey’s paw for those who would have done anything for Watson to stay in Houston, a Watson trade that seemed inevitable is once again uncertain.