clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Evaluating Houston Trading Up To Have Three First Round Picks

Two is not enough!

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 28 TaxAct Texas Bowl Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After a flurry of free agent signings, the Houston Texans have four definitive needs:

Quarterback. Wide Receiver. Defensive End. Center.

What if I told you the Texans could knock out three of the four in the first round?

With 12 draft picks in this draft and a large class to come next year, Houston can easily mortgage several picks to obtain three selections in the first round.

While the Texans do hold one of the most valuable picks in the draft - that being an early pick in the second round - it provides them with an opportunity to make a move unlike any they’ve done before.

What the Texans need is talent. What the first round of every NFL Draft has is talent. Plus, considering the rumors of this class not having a high quality number of day three picks, consolidating several to address a premium position of need appears logical.

Considering the value and quality of each position, the wide receiver position this year in particular compels the Texans to make such a move. There is not a receiver worth the 12th overall pick. Quinten Johnson does not have the route running capability, and Jaxon Smith-Njigba’s injury is too worrisome to take him that early. The sweet spot for receivers in this class is from 15-27, which includes Smith-Njigba, Johnson, Zay Flowers, and USC’s Jordan Addison.

When it comes to the defensive end position, there’s quite few prospects available at the 12 spot, but a wealthy tier of prospects from picks 25-40. Personally, I believe Clemson DE Myles Murphy is going to fall to pick 12. If he’s available, he’d be tough to pass on. There’s also Lukas Van Ness, but he’s too much of a tweener for what the Texans are looking for.

That second tier comprises of Nolan Smith, BJ Ojulari, Will McDonald IV, Felix Anudike-Uzomah, or Andre Carter II. All of these prospects could go in the first round depending on a team’s favorability, or they could be available when the Texans’ choose at 33.

Houston holds the second pick in the second round. That picks gives them the proximity and ammunition to move into the first round and select the other position the Texans didn’t draft at 12.

Ideal trading partners hold picks 23-28. These picks are far up enough to warrant the Texans to make a move, but not too rich where Houston has to pay too much.

Two teams at either end of that range provide fantastic trade partners; Minnesota Vikings (23rd) and Buffalo Bills (27th).

Both team have six or fewer picks in the draft. Both teams have needs that they can still address early in the second round rather than a first.

Recent examples from last year’s draft illustrate the capital the Texans would have to give up to move back into the first round.



  • Round 2, 2022: No. 33 overall — DE Logan Hall
  • Round 4, 2022: No. 106 — TE Cade Otton
  • Round 6, 2022: No. 180; Pick traded to Buffalo — P Matt Araiza



Here are two trades from the 2020 draft.

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS RECEIVE: » 2020 first-round pick (No. 23; Oklahoma LB Kenneth Murray)


  • Round 2, 2020 (No. 37; Lenoir-Rhyne S Kyle Dugger)
  • Round 3, 2020 (No. 71; later traded to Ravens)


Round 1, 2020 (No. 26; Utah State QB Jordan Love)


» Round 1, 2020 (No. 30; Auburn CB Noah Igbinoghene)

» Round 4, 2020 (No. 136; later traded to Rams)

As you see, the Texans will need to trade away their second round pick plus either a third round pick or a combination of day three picks. For a team with 12 picks, that’s not an incredible ask for them to select “their guy” who is falling in the first round.

Imagine if the Texans ended up with a combination of CJ Stroud/Bryce Young, Myles Murphy (or any defensive player of their choosing) and swung back into the first to get Jordan Addison at pick 23 because he was falling due to his poor NFL Combine? That is three elite players who can start immediately.

Sure, the Texans will be giving away their much needed capital and late-round lottery tickets to have a lot of high-value salaries for the next several seasons. But the Texans are desperate for a change of guard in Houston and Nick Caserio needs to prove his worth to a distrustful fan base.