After putting together a defensive mock draft that added four defensive pieces and two offensive, we’re flipping the script and going almost all offense. Though the defense needs an injection of youth and talent, there arguably isn’t a side of the ball in the league that needs more help. Just look at the Houston Texans 2022 stats:
- 30th in yards per game
- 30th in points per game
- 31st in rushing yards per game
- 31st in interceptions given (19)
- 31st in third down percentage
- 31st in total first downs
The Texans offense under Pep Hamilton was unfortunately putrid. There was little to no dynamic play calling, no emphasis on the run game in a season where the run was revived, and no ‘response’ to what defenses were presenting the Texans. If Pep isn’t washed away in the new regime I’ll be surprised, but it wasn’t like he had too much to work with.
Whoever takes over as the head coach or offensive coordinator, they’d be well armed to start their career in Houston if they go with the following draft class:
R1. Pick 02: Bryce Young, QB - Alabama
Unless the Bears package and trade Fields, this pick will inevitably be a QB. The swirling rumors of the Texans trading up for the first overall makes me sick.
Even so, the Texans could put their foot down and let either team mortgage their future to take the other QB available. I ultimately don’t think the Colts have the draft capital to make a move this season, but if they do I don’t think the Texans budge in their plan.
Without extraneous trades and rumors, we look to Bryce Young as the future. The former Heisman Trophy winner has all the intangibles to be a stellar QB except the height factor.
Unless CJ Stroud has an NFL Combine for the ages, Young is the odds-on pick here. Until..... well who knows, it’s still early.
R1. Pick 12: Jordan Addison, WR - USC
This could be a reach at the receiver position given his current draft stock, but for a team who has no distinct play makers, giving a young Young Having two stud corners is a must in a league where the best teams have two elite receivers.
If you take a look, the Texans depth chart is extremely limited. Chris Moore is a free agent. Brandin Cooks wants out. Phillip Dorsett has little to prove on offense. Even if Metchie III can return, it’s slim picking if the Texans don't add a receiver early.
Addison is an elite talent - he is compared to DeVonta Smith and it makes complete sense. The guy is a WR1 who needs other receiver options to steal some of the pressure. He’s versatile, exciting, and an instant impact player.
R2. Pick 33: BJ Ojulare, DE - LSU
If the Texans decide to keep this pick unlike last year, they’ll look to balance the draft choices and focus on improving an aging defensive line.
The defensive end out of LSU easily could go in the first round, but he may slide due to a lack of sack this past season. The 6’3” end was a three year contributor on an up-and-down LSU side and would be able to contribute immediately to a Texans defense in dire need of defensive line talent.
Ojulare is a lighter pass rusher. His size and speed are the main attributes to his game, but he won’t be a player to get to the QB through bull rushing. He reminds me of a more talented Josh Uche, who fell to the back of the second round due to his lack of versatility. But Uche has proved to be a dominant pass rusher, racking up 11.5 sacks this past season for the Patriots.
R3. Pick 65: Jarrett Patterson, OC - Notre Dame
You may or may not see this name quite often on my draft board. I wouldn’t be surprised in the wake of any first round chaos that somehow lands us a mid second-round pick the Texans jump and take Patterson. He feels like a Texans. Here’s my take on him from before:
Scott Quessenberry has been a band aid at the position, but drafting Jarret Patterson in the third round would resolve our interior offensive line issues immediately. Patterson is a prototypical center at 6’4”, 310 pounds. Drafting a center to run the offense alongside a new QB makes sense for long-term success.
Patterson is the IDEAL pick in this concept. He is a tried-and-true offensive center. I’ve seen him ranked in the top 55 picks and some that don’t have him until round five. There’s several other offensive center prospect, the top being John Michael Schmitz from Minnesota, but I imagine the best at a position will be drafted before the beginning of the third round. Put Patterson in and let him command the offensive line next to Kenyon Green.
R3. Pick 73: Zach Evans, RB - Ole Miss
If you recall, this organization chose multiple local prospects. Well they will continue with that tradition by drafting one of the best RBs to come out of Houston (North Shore High School) in recent memory. After transferring from TCU to Ole Miss, Evans was stuck as RB2 on the team. He’s electing to leave early, which honestly is surprising considering he’d have the starting job if he stayed.
The Texans would add a dynamic back to complement Dameon Pierce. Evans isn’t much of a pass catching back as that was not a part of the Rebels’ scheme. Nabbing Evans in the third round would be a steal considering his elite potential and limited collegiate weathering.
R4. Pick 101: Sam Laporta, TE - Iowa
The Texans have solved their QB issue, added a new WR1 for the future, added a new center, and brought in a supporting running back. What’s left? At this point in the draft going after a lineman feels like a waste; the guy isn’t going to start and there aren’t many gifted guys this late. There’s an argument to get another receiver, but there’s plenty of time to get one in the final rounds or through the undrafted market. So let’s add in a seasoned tight end who has pass catching capabilities and can block with the best of them.
- 2021, led Big Ten tight ends in receptions (53), yards (670), yards after catch (299), yards after contact (206), and catches of 15+ yards (18).
In a front-heavy tight end class, Laporta may go early, but if he can fall to pick 101, it’s a gamechanger for the offense.
The Texans would have checked off almost every offensive box and still improved the defense in this draft. They can focus on the remaining picks to add depth pieces to a defense that performed well at times but was exhausted by a putrid offense.
At a glance, here would be the new offensive depth chart sans any trades yet to occur. In bold are the new draftees:
QB: Bryce Young, Davis Mills
RB: Dameon Piece, Zach Evans, Dare Ogunbowale
WR: Jordan Addison, Nico Collins
WR: Brandin Cooks, TBD
Slot: John Metchie III
TE: Tegan Quitoriano, Brevin Jordan, Sam Laporta
LT: Laremy Tunsil
LG: Kenyon Green
C: Jarrett Patterson, Jimmy Morrissey
RG: AJ Cann, Austin Deculus
RT: Tytus Howard, Charlie Heck,
That’s three starters and two offensive depth pierces that will be able to rotate in but also contribute on special teams.