Evan Silva (@EvanSilva) is the Senior Football Editor for Rotoworld's NFL Page, and Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) leads Rotoworld's college football and NFL draft coverage. Together, they're breaking down every team's biggest needs and offering potential draft-day solutions.
For a breakdown on every team, check out the team-by-team draft preview schedule.
Texans Team Need No. 1: Offensive Line
Last year’s Texans recorded the lowest cumulative pass-blocking grade since Pro Football Focus began game charting in 2006. Houston threw free agent darts at OT Seantrel Henderson and OGs Zach Fulton and Senio Kelemete, but neither were reliable starters on their previous teams. The Texans should have enough workable bodies to form a competent interior line, but both tackle spots could afford to be addressed.
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Texans Team Need No. 2: Tight End
Texans Team Need No. 3: Pass Rusher
Deshaun Watson’s promising performance across six rookie-year starts has energized the franchise, but the roster is still brimming with needs. At running back, more talent is needed to push disappointing Lamar Miller and rehabbing D’Onta Foreman (Achilles’). Brandon Weeden is not a serviceable backup for Watson, who has torn his ACL twice since 2014. The Texans need also more help up front on defense, where they are thin on the line and lack depth behind injury-plagued OLBs Whitney Mercilus and Jadeveon Clowney.
Norris’ Mock Draft
Round 3 (68): T Tyrell Crosby, Oregon - Finding a starting left tackle in the third round is not easy. I’m not sure if Crosby will be available, but if he is the Texans should pounce. Crosby is athletic in his pass set to mirror opponents and strong enough to move defensive linemen off the ball in the running game. It might not always look pretty, but Crosby gets the job done more often than not.
Round 3 (80): T Joe Noteboom, TCU - Back to back tackles? It might not happen this way, but it makes sense in terms of need. The Texans must invest in their offensive line to protect a quarterback coming off injury. Noteboom is an athletic right tackle who hit the 3-cone threshold that places him in elite territory.
Round 3 (98): TE Ian Thomas, Indiana - Thomas recorded just 25 receptions last season, including 16 in the opening four games. His talent deserved many more opportunities. He is athletic, can play inline or be moved into an H-back role. He is the favorite to be the fourth tight end off the board. It will be interesting to see if teams over-draft tight ends this year after missing out on last year’s historic group.
Round 4 (103): EDGE Tyquan Lewis, Ohio State - The Texans seem to prefer large edge rushers, from the top names to the role players. Lewis adds depth to this spot, and as we all know teams can never have enough pass rushers.
Round 6 (177): QB Kurt Benkert, Virginia - It’s so difficult to place the third or fourth tier passers. As Evan mentioned, the Texans need one, and luckily they coached Benkert at the Senior Bowl.
Round 6 (211): RB Ryan Nall, Oregon State - Nall is an above-average athlete. I’ve even heard some mention of him switching to an H-Back or tight end role.
Round 6 (214): WR Darren Carrington, Utah - After transferring from Oregon, Carrington put together his most productive collegiate season. Possible practice squad at this stage of the draft.
Round 7 (222): S Trayvon Henderson, Hawaii - Per Tony Pauline, Henderson is visiting the Texans on a visit.