19 total players have the ignominious honor of being drafted by the Texans. Only two players remain from the 2019 draft class and none past that class. Gone are the days where Whitney Mercilus and other veteran first round draft picks stayed with the team for a near decade.
If this team is to get back on track, they’ll do it through the draft. Year after year, they’ll need to hit on their premium picks and find diamonds in the rough in the later rounds. And they will need to do it better than the previous regime (low bar).
We rank all of the Texans remaining drafted players on the roster. They’re ranked by their production thus far and potential to be impact players now and in the future.
1. Jonathan Greenard, DE, 3rd round 2020
The second most probable Pro-Bowl candidate on the roster (behind Brandin Cooks), Greenard is the standard bearer of pass rushing on the defense this year. He only played 12 games last year but was able to register eight sacks.
2. Davis Mills, QB, 3rd round 2021
The signal caller was the opposite of ‘exalted’ upon his selection to the team. He was the first selection of the 2021 draft and played more than expected in his rookie season. The keys to the car are in his hands this year and we’ll see if the Texans’ gamble on him will pay off.
3. Tytus Howard, OT 1st round 2019
The Texans reached for Howard in the 2019 draft and haven’t been overly impressed with his play. He’s bounced around across the line and suffered several injuries. This will be a make-or-break season as he intends to start at right tackle.
4. Derek Stingley Jr., CB, 1st round 2022
Speaking of a lot to prove, the Texans first pick in this year’s draft has high expectations after being selected 3rd overall. The secondary is going to be a problem and Stingley will be on a proverbial island for much of his immediate career. Hopefully he’ll get off to a faster start than former 1st round pick Kareem Jackson did.
5. Roy Lopez, DT, 6th round 2021
The best surprise of last season was the Texans 320-pound defensive tackle drafted in the 6th round. The rookie played in 16 games, started 15, and recorded five tackles for loss. He supplanted Ross Blacklock immediately and was a core reason why the Texans didn’t focus on D-line earlier in the 2022 draft.
6. Nico Collins, WR, 3rd round 2021
Texans found a competent WR2 in Nico Collins. Steady performance later in his rookie year elevated him up the depth chart. Now, he’s projected to start and be a leader on the offense.
7. Jalen Pitre, DB, 2nd round 2022
Pitre leapfrogs Green here as I believe he’ll be a cornerstone to the Lovie Smith defense. He can play all over the field and is going to play considerable snaps right out the gate. He’s NFL-ready, exciting, and perfect for the defense.
8. Kenyon Green, OG, 1st round 2022
Texans second 2022 1st round pick will be an immediate starter at the right guard position. The team may have reached for him in the draft, especially after trading back two spots to do so.
9. John Metchie, WR, 2nd round 2022
Debatably the most exciting non-QB draft pick since Braxton Miller, Metchie will be the slot receiver the Texans have been clamoring for since forever. The knee injury is one of the top stories of the offseason and he may start on the sideline.
10. Brevin Jordan, TE, 5th round 2021
Another player with a solid back half of his rookie season, Jordan adds another pass catching threat to the offense. If he can develop as a blocker, he’ll become an important asset for the team.
11. Ross Blacklock, DT, 2nd round 2020
“Disappointing” is the only way to describe Blacklock’s career to date. The one-gap player will be playing out of his best system with Lovie at the helm. He’s still a solid run stopper, but he must progress as a pass rusher this season.
12. Max Scharping, LG, 2nd round 2019
Another guy who hasn’t impressed recently. Scharping will again battle for a starting role this offseason. He had one good season in 2020, but will need to prove he can both hold down a starting spot and not hold defensive lineman.
13. Christian Harris, LB, 3rd round 2022
Many are enamored with Harris after Lovie’s reaction upon drafting him. He should rotate in immediately on the defense and in special teams. His true potential will not be obvious until we see him surrounded by poor talent.
14. Dameon Pierce, RB, 4th round 2022
Pierce quite easily could be in the top 5, but until Pep Hamilton’s offense and where Pierce fits into it is better understood, Pierce falls down to 14.
15. Garret Wallow, LB, 5th round 2021
Wallow was serviceable in 2021 playing on defense and special teams. He won’t benefit from the addition of Harris nor the resigning of multiple veterans, but could be a depth piece for several more seasons.
16. Charlie Heck, OT, 4th round 2020
Speaking of depth pieces, Heck rotated in on the offensive line when injuries piled up. He comes from a footballing family and is intelligent to say the least, but the question is if he has the footwork and tenacity to be an every-down starter.
17. Thomas Booker, DT 5th round 2022
There’s boom and bust potential with Booker. As a fifth round pick, there aren’t immediate expectations for him, but the Texans could benefit greatly from his scheme versatility.
16. Austin Deculus, OT 6th round 2022
Deculus will battle with Heck and other Texans vets for a job as a tackle. The 6’7” Cy-Fair grad has years of experience at LSU but may lack the ceiling of other lineman.
17. Teagan Quitoriano, TE, 5th round 2022
The tight end out of Oregon State will be the third string on the roster. He’s expected to play a part in special teams, but hopefully can provide a solid blocking and 3rd down option on offense.