The event that gave the collective Houston Texans fanbase PTSD, better known as “the 2021 NFL season,” is officially over in H-Town. With that comes speculation about coaching changes, roster turnover, and whether Nick Caserio rights this ship or just treats 2022 as Tankathon: The Sequel.
One surety we can cling to is the top of the 2022 NFL Draft order is set. Barring the almost certain trades that will shake things up between now and April 28th, this is what we have:
The 2022 NFL Draft Order
1. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-14)
2. Detroit Lions (3-13-1)
3. Houston Texans (4-13)
4. New York Jets (4-13)
5. New York Giants (4-13)
6. Carolina Panthers (5-12)
7. New York Giants from Chicago (6-11)
8. Atlanta Falcons (7-10)
9. Denver Broncos (7-10)
10. New York Jets from Seattle (7-10)
With the Giants and Jets both holding two top ten picks, some sort of crazy trade between now and the first of those picks is bound to happen. The other wild card for the top ten is Deshaun Watson. There’s a high probability he will hear his name called out on or before draft night due to involvement in a trade of epic proportions.
Texans have 3rd overall pick in 2022 NFL Draft.— Drew Dougherty (@DoughertyDrew) January 10, 2022
Their 2nd-rounder & both 3rd-round slots give them 4 picks in top 80…
Just who the trade partner in that pending huge news story is remains to be seen. In the meantime, the mock drafts are coming fast and furious. Most have the Glitter Kitties taking offensive tackle Evan Neal. This leaves the two premier pass rushers in the draft to fall to the Lions and Texans.
The other no-doubt elite defensive end in this draft, Hutchinson could go No. 1 overall if Jacksonville has different draft board evaluations. As it stands, the Texans roll with Davis Mills at QB and add a pass rusher with T.J. Watt’s hyper-athletic edge rush play style and production (14.0 sacks, 16.5 TFL, 2 forced fumbles) that will make any defensive coordinator’s eyes water. He could be the best player in the entire draft.
While I’d love to see this happen, and allegedly Hutch would love to play in Houston, you just never know with Cal McEasterby and the Jackwagons calling the shots down at NRG Park.
A name that hasn’t been tied to Houston often in mock drafts is Clemson cornerback Andrew Booth.
3) Houston Texans: Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson
The top cornerback drafted is Andrew Booth Jr., and he goes ahead of the edge rushers in this mock draft iteration. Booth is just scratching the surface of his athletic ability in terms of making plays on the field. You can’t coach athleticism or ball skills, and Booth has those in spades. He’s also shown growth over his career with the Tigers. He’ll lock down a side of the field for Houston for years to come.
It would be hard to say no to this one if Hutch and Kayvon Thibodeaux are off the board. Better still, Nick Caserio might, just might, be able to trade down from the third overall pick and land Booth a little further back while gaining another pick or player asset. The only problem with that is who on Lovie Smith’s defensive coaching staff, assuming Smith is still here in April, can actually coach up a high-ceiling, low floor player like Booth.
A lot of folks place Booth as a middle first rounder, so Caserio could look to trade with the Jets, land their #10 pick and, say, the Jets’ third rounder, and then use the tenth overall pick to grab Booth.
Run The Houston Texans In Your Own NFL Mock Draft
Over at NFL Mock Draft Database, the draft simulator is up and running for the next seven days. You can take control of the Texans for the first round, all seven or any number of other options.
I ran a quick one round mock, with trades disabled, and landed Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton. With Justin Reid counting the minutes until he can sign with another team, Houston will need to replace him. Hamilton looks to be a plug-and-play starter for a team for the next decade; with Hutch and Thibodeaux going #1 and #2 in this mock, Hamilton became the BPA at #3.
Go run your own mock draft here and come back and let us know how it went.