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DeMeco Ryans on No. 2 pick: I’m not asking a guy to be the savior for our team

Mike Florio and Chris Simms analyze how the Texans will look to maximize their picks in the 2023 NFL Draft and discuss why they’re in a unique position with both the second and 12th picks in the first round.

The Texans are widely expected to pick a quarterback at No. 2 overall in this year’s draft at the end of the month.

But new head coach DeMeco Ryans doesn’t want whoever that player is to come in feeling like he has the weight of the franchise on his shoulders.

“It’s exciting for us to have the No. 2 pick,” Ryans said in his Tuesday press conference. “But it’s also, at the same time, there’s no pressure where the young man is picked. I think it’s unfair to ask a guy, just because you’re pick No. 2 overall, you have to come in and you’re the face of our franchise and you’re the leader. That’s unfair to the guy and I’m not going to put that type of weight on the shoulders of whoever it is that we pick. That’s not what we’re anticipating. That’s not what we’re expecting him to do.

“We’re expecting him to come in, be a great teammate, work hard, be deliberate in what you’re doing, and have a mindset to get better each and every day. That’s the mindset no matter if it’s pick [No.] 2 or the last pick of the draft. It really doesn’t matter when you get picked. Leaders, those guys will grow based on our team. And each team is different. We have leaders in our locker room already. So, I’m not asking a guy to come in and be the savior for our team. I’m asking a guy to come in and put his head down and just work.”

While Ryans was asked a few questions about Houston’s draft strategy — like whether there’s a scenario the team could pass on a QB at No. 2 — he declined to answer them. But the Texans have met with Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud and are set to meet with Bryce Young later this week.

Houston is likely to select one of those two players. Whoever it is, Ryans’ message will be consistent.

“I let him know from the start there’s no pressure — that’s it,” Ryans said. “I’m not putting pressure on a guy to come in and just because of where you’re picked in the draft, it’s unfair to say that a guy is the leader of an organization and he hasn’t played one snap for our team.”