clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2022 NFL Draft: Kyle Hamilton, Sauce Gardner As Houston’s First Two Picks?

Would you be happy with Houston reloading the secondary?

Notre Dame v Florida State Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

There’s a very real possibility Houston Texans general manager Nick Caserio could pull a draft coup. He could land both Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton and Cincinnati cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner with Houston’s first two picks later this month. Doing so would instantly transform the Texans’ defensive backfield from something atrocious into something formidable.

Hamilton is considered by many as the third best player in the coming NFL Draft and the consensus top defensive back available on Day One. Sauce Gardner has rocketed up mock drafts, supplanting Derek Stingley Jr. on most big boards. Yesterday, Sauce visited the Texans, with many hoping it won’t be the last time he makes himself at home in NRG Park.

With EDGE rushers Aidan Hutchinson and Kayvon Thibodeaux likely going to the Jacksonville Jaguars and Detroit Lions with Picks one and two, Hamilton should be sitting there when Caserio has his first opportunity to turn in a top five draft card.

Common sense and logic would dictate Houston might be better off addressing a “more important position” than safety with the third overall pick. However, this roster is in such dire straits that taking the best player available, assuming Caserio doesn't trade back, is the better play.

A lot of big name mock drafters have Houston taking offensive tackle Evan Neal or Ikem Ekwonu, both of whom project to be Pro Bowlers in their own right. But the Texans have Laremy Tunsil and Tytus Howard, both former first rounders, already on the roster. Why spend draft capital on a third tackle? Especially when the current Houston secondary is so bereft of game-changing talent?

While there are several other teams calling names between Picks 4-12, there’s also a chance Houston could land Sauce Gardner at #13 or package assets to trade up a bit to grab some Sauce if they believe another team might take him in the top ten. Imagine having Hamilton and Gardner locking down the back end for the next five to ten seasons.

Houston’s current defensive depth chart looks something like this:

DE Okoronkwo, Ogbonnia

DT Lopez, Roy

DT Collins, Maliek

DE Greenard, Jonathan

WLB Reeves-Maybin, Jalen

MLB Kirksey, Christian

SLB Grugier-Hill, Kamu

LCB King II, Desmond

SS Murray, Eric

FS Brooks, Terrence

RCB Johnson Jr., Lonnie

SCB Thomas, Tavierre

Replacing Lonnie Johnson Jr. and Eric Murray with Hamilton and Sauce would present a sizable upgrade. Those moves alone could make this defense just a few moves away from becoming potentially great once again.

The former cornerback in me loves this idea. How about you?