The Houston Texans have their franchise quarterback, now they need players to protect him and more targets for him to throw the ball.
A division championship was a step in the right direction for the Houston Texans, but not enough. Finding the right players with which to surround quarterback Deshaun Watson will be a priority in the 2019 NFL Draft.
State Of The Team
Following an 11-win season in 2018, the Houston Texans will be a contending team if they continue to add to their current roster. There was a lot of promise in the Texans 2018 season winning an AFC South championship, but injuries to wide receivers and poor play from the offensive line really hurt their chance to make a mark in the playoffs.
Houston has their franchise quarterback in Deshaun Watson, and to work with him they have maybe the best wide receiver in the entire NFL in DeAndre Hopkins. Defensively, the Texans have perennial superstar defensive end, J.J. Watt. The Texans can keep moving forward by rebuilding their offensive line this offseason, and if the rest of their wide receivers stay healthy, the offense can be extremely dangerous.
Total Draft Picks
The Texans have seven total draft picks in 2019, including two via trades.
- Round 1 (No. 23 overall)
- Round 2 (No. 54 overall, via Seahawks)
- Round 2 (No. 55 overall)
- Round 3 (No. 86 overall)
- Round 5 (No. 161 overall)
- Round 6 (No. 195 overall)
- Round 7 (No. 220 overall, from Jets via trade with Broncos)
Top 3 Draft Needs
Offensive Tackle: Deshaun Watson played every game last season, but he played injured in some games and took too many hits. The Texans offensive line allowed 62 sacks in the 2018 regular season, and though not all of it was on them, the pressure on Watson was inexcusable and too much to overcome. Left tackle has to be addressed for the Texans this offseason via the draft.
Cornerback: Granted, the Texans have signed Bradley Roby to a one-year deal in free agency to replace Kareem Jackson, but more has to be done to fill that void for a long-term future at the position. The Texans also released Kevin Johnson this offseason, but in all honesty, there needs to be some more youth added to the depth of the cornerback position as Johnathan Joseph is entering his 14th season in the NFL.
Running Back: It is tough to be sold on the Texans running backs because Lamar Miller has one year left on his contract entering into his eighth NFL season, and there isn’t enough film on D’Onta Foreman to really know what he’s capable of with more carries. Houston really needs to think hard about adding a running back to the roster in this draft. They don’t need to use a first or second round pick, but after that, they might think of surprising some people by selecting a running back in round three, or even better, adding a running back through free agency.
Top 3 Draft Targets
OT, Washington State
This is the type of player the Texans need to add to their roster through the draft, and he could be available at the 23rd pick for the Texans to take. Dillard is described as a “pure pass-protecting left tackle” by Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com, and the Texans are in great need of a player that has that capability to help out the franchise quarterback.
This is another way the Texans could go in the first round, by drafting one of the top cornerbacks with the 23rd overall pick. The Texans need a long-term solution at the position with the soon-ending contracts of some veterans. Ya-Sin could be the player who develops into a solid starter with his overall speed and his abilities to knock down passes as he did 12 times this past season.
Decision Maker (Or Who To Blame If Things Go Wrong)
The decision maker for the Texans seems to be mostly general manager Brian Gaine, followed by head coach Bill O’Brien. Gaine is in his second year as Texans GM, and last year he and O’Brien drafted some players who did things well, and that was without a pick until the third round. Gaine is looking to make his mark on the roster in this draft with three picks in the first 55 players selected.
Best/Worst Pick In Current Draft Slot
Historically, who was the best pick and the worst pick based on where the team is currently picking.
Best Pick: DeAndre Hopkins – Wide Receiver – Round 1 (Pick No. 27) in 2013 NFL Draft
Though the Houston Texans have never picked at No. 23 overall in the first round, a pick that was close to that number and has to be the best pick by the Texans came in 2013 when they selected wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins with the 27th overall selection. Since joining the Texans, Hopkins has become one of the best in the game, starting all 95 games with Houston, totaling 528 receptions for 7,437 yards and 47 touchdowns, with two first-team All-Pro and three Pro Bowl selections.
Worst Pick: Kevin Johnson – Defensive Back – Round 1 (Pick No. 16) in 2015 NFL Draft
Kevin Johnson was selected 16th overall by the Texans in 2015. After four seasons with the franchise, the cornerback was released as he wasn’t able to stay on the field due to injuries. Johnson played in 35 games in four seasons with the Texans, totaling one interception after making 18 starts in the games he played, never playing a full season following his rookie year.