Week 9 of College is in the books with some big-time performances that deserve a mention and a look from the Houston Texans. Let’s dive right into it!
Jalen Carter, defensive tackle, Georgia
The Texans just got ran over by Derrick Henry for 200 plus rushing yards and they are in desperate need to add playmakers able to both rush the quarterback and stop the run. Jalen Carter is one of the best defensive tackle prospects to come out of college in quite some time: he’s a disruptive pass rusher who imposes himself with his size and well above average speed while he’s also a rock-solid run defender who consistently sets the tone in the trenches. Carter just came back from an injury and he immediately made his presence felt against the Gators. If the Texans decide to address the defensive line in the top-10, selecting Jalen Carter would be a smart move.
Georgia junior defensive tackle Jalen Carter is a disruptive force on the inside.— Luca Sartirana (@SartiranaLuca) October 29, 2022
He has a rare combination of technical refinement, athleticism and explosiveness. He has the tools to be an elite DT in the NFL.pic.twitter.com/o2fu3GIbBu
Jalin Hyatt, wide receiver, Tennessee
Hyatt is performing at an historic rate for the Volunteers and he’s now the front runner to land the Biletnikoff Award. Houston may deal Brandin Cooks prior to the trade deadline or part ways with him after the 2022 season. Hyatt would be an elite deep threat who would match perfectly with a solid field stretcher at the quarterback position, an improvement the Texans will likely make early in the draft. In today’s NFL, you cannot have too many weapons and Hyatt would fit perfectly in a young receiver core that can already count on Nico Collins and John Metchie III once he comes back.
Deuce Vaughn, running back, Kansas State
As I said writing about Jalin Hyatt, you cannot have too many offensive weapons in today’s NFL and that would be the case with Deuce Vaughn. At 5-6, 176 lbs, Vaughn is a big-time outlier at the running back position who can impact a NFL offense in so many ways: as a change of pace runner with game-breaking speed, as a capable receiver able to produce and create mismatches from the slot and as a returner. The Texans offense clearly needs a spark and adding to the mix players like Vaughn could help the whole system at being less predictable and more explosive.
Mazi Smith, defensive lineman, Michigan
Smith is an athletic freak who still needs refinement from a technical standpoint but at the same time he offers an extremely exciting ceiling given by his power, speed and explosiveness. While he’ll probably not be an impact player right out of the gate in the NFL, he’s a solid run stopper who puts consistent pressure on the offensive line. He’ll be a project prospect with useful versatility as he can easily play both as an edge and defensive tackle.
Way too early prospects: Drake Maye, quarterback, North Carolina and Caleb Williams, quarterback USC
Although neither Drake Maye and Caleb Williams will be draft eligible for the 2023 draft, thus far they are looking as a better combo of prospects than Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud, especially considering that the 2024 draft class will also have Texas standout signal-caller Quinn Ewers in it. Considering that the 2024 class could be way better at the quarterback position, should the Texans add cornerstone players at other positions early in the 2023 draft while playing the next season with a bridge quarterback, hoping to add an elite prospect in 2024 or it’s time to invest a premiere pick on a signal-caller after this season?