One of the favorite pastimes of draft season is to look up the draft profiles for your newest Houston Texans. Lance Zierlein has been a fixture on Houston radio for over 20 years, but he also moonlights as a scout for the NFL Network. His opinion is just one person’s opinion, but I probably trust it more than just about anyone out there.
Before we get to this year’s draftees we will take a look at what he said about the 2022 draftees when their turn was up. Since I respect Lance so much, I want to reiterate this is done not to embarrass him or poke fun at him. He probably guessed correctly more than I would or most. However, we show this just to show that it is all a guessing game. Some are better guessers than others, but it is just guessing.
NFL.com uses a point system to grade out prospects. 8.0 is the perfect prospect or maybe just the embodiment of Tom Brady. Prospects that grade out at 7.0 or higher will be perennial Pro Bowlers. 6.7 to 6.9 reads as a plus starter. 6.5-6.6 register as a boom or bust prospect. Anything between 6.0 and 6.4 will be a decent to solid starter. Anything below 6.0 is a likely backup at the next level.
2022 Draft Profiles
Derek Stingley— 6.50 grade, projected first rounder, Stephon Gilmore comp
Boom or bust seems to be the right grade here. The story on Stingley will be finished by DeMeco Ryans and what he asks him to do on defense. If he can be healthy then he could still become a Gilmore and live up to the advanced billing. Sauce Gardner is off to a better start, but one season does not a career make.
Kenyon Green— 6.45 grade, projected first rounder, Richie Incognito comp
Ouch. Year one was an unmitigated disaster, but again we have to hope that a combination of a full year of conditioning and better coaching will turn this around.
Jalen Pitre— 6.24 grade, projected third rounder, no comp
His legacy will ultimately be difficult to pinpoint. PFF had him as one of the worst starting safeties in football but he also had five interceptions. He dropped two or three more. This is another one where DeMeco could unlock something.
John Metchie— 6.18 grade, projected third rounder, no comp
You can’t predict cancer. We are hearing good things so we will see.
Christian Harris— 6.27 grade, projected second rounder, DeVondre Campbell comp
He missed most of training camp, so let’s see what happens in a new defense and a full offseason.
Dameon Pierce— 6.19 grade, projected third-fourth rounder, Isiah Crowell comp
I’d say he is a titch better than Crowell, but that’s just me. I wish we had one more good back, but let’s see what these undrafted guys can do.
Thomas Booker— 5.86 grade, projected fifth-sixth rounder, no comp
Teagan Quitoriano— 5.94 grade, projected sixth-seventh rounder, no comp
I actually liked what I saw on the receiving end. He can’t be the main guy but he seems like a good depth piece.
Austin Deculus— 5.53 grade, projected undrafted free agent, no comp
2023 Draft Profiles
C.J. Stroud— 6.70 grade, projected first rounder, Jared Goff comp
I know what you are thinking. I was thinking the same thing when I first saw the Goff comp, but if you look at Goff’s numbers it starts going down easier. Is he a franchise quarterback? What in the heck is that anyway?
Will Anderson— 7.02 grade, projected first rounder, DeMarcus Ware comp
If he’s Ware I’ll take it. This one could actually go in any number of directions, but I like Ryans’ chances to get as much out of him as anything.
Juice Scruggs— 6.21 grade, projected third-fourth rounder, no comp
This seemed like a panic move by Nick and I get it based on the need at center. There will now be a competition between three or four guys, so let the best man win.
Tank Dell— 6.30 grade, projected second rounder, Darnell Murray comp
Flip this pick with the last one and the Texans are holding serve. I love this pick. He was very productive in college and also had a ton of success as a punt returner.
Dylan Horton— 5.99 grade, projected fifth rounder, no comp
I’m a Horned Frog and I really couldn’t tell you much about this guy. I love me some Horned Frogs but we could have done better.
Henry To’oTo’o— 6.16 grade, projected fourth rounder, Christian Kirksey comp
Again, flip flop this one with the last pick and you are holding serve. I’ve never seen that many apostrophes in a name before. Is a Kirksey comp really a positive thing?
Jarrett Patterson— 5.85 grade, projected sixth rounder, no comp
More competition at center. It is at this stage in the draft when teams have hunches on guys and a lot of that is based on the offensive or defensive system they run. Hopefully DeMeco and Nick know something we don’t.
Xavier Hutchinson— 5.87 grade, projected fifth-sixth rounder, no comp
This is another really productive guy in college. Like Dell, he caught 100+ balls last year and was really the only threat on that Iowa State team. This team needs more guys in that room. He might end up being similar to Nico Collins.
Brandon Hill— 5.92 grade, projected fifth rounder, no comp
You get a projected fifth rounder in the seventh and you have to see value. Yet, that stuff doesn’t matter the minute you put on pads.