HOUSTON, TX- For the first time in 2 seasons, the Houston Texans were active on the first night of the NFL Draft and selected some serious talent.
The Houston Texans selected:
- 1 (3) Derek Stingley Jr., Cornerback, LSU
- 1 (15) Kenyon Green, Offensive Lineman, Texas A&M
- 2 (37) Jalen Pitre, Safety, Baylor
- 2 (44) John Metchie III, Wide Receiver, Alabama
- 3 (75) Christian Harris, Linebacker, Alabama
- 4 (107) Dameon Pierce, Running Back, Florida
- 5 (150) Thomas Booker, Defensive End, Stanford
- 5 (170) Teagan Quitoriano, Tight End, Oregon State
- 6 (205) Austin Deculus, Offensive Lineman, LSU
The Texans used the first of two 1st round picks to select a very talented corner from LSU in Derek Stingley Jr. The issue is he has only played in 10 games over 2 seasons due to injury. The talent is there to be one of the best corners in the draft. His freshman season, Stingley Jr. had 6 interceptions, 15 passes defended, and one fumble recovery. If he gets healthy, he could lock down the back end in Houston.
Their second pick was slated for 13 but after a small trade back to 15, the Texans drafted offensive lineman Kenyon Green from Texas A&M. Green played all over the line for the Aggies but projects to guard in the NFL. At 6’4”, 323 lbs., Green is a mauler in the run game and has a little work to do in pass protection. There were concerns about a possible knee issue draft analysts say it wasn’t a problem for now. Expect Green to start right away in Houston.
In the second round Houston picked up some defensive help and added some firepower to the offense. At 37, the Texans picked Jalen Pitre who played the “star” position at Baylor. Pitre shot up draft board during the pre-draft process and has high football IQ, instincts, versatility, and competitiveness. Houston will need to find a way to use Pitre to maximize his effects on the field. He could be the leader of the Texans defense after they lost J.J. Watt last offseason.
The Texans did not have a lot of weapons on offense heading into the draft and at 44, selected John Metchie III from Alabama. Metchie is recovering from an ACL injury he suffered in the 2021 SEC Championship game and was having a great season with 96 receptions, 1,142 yards, and 8 touchdowns. Houston got a playmaker who has speed, runs good routes, and can play different receiver spots. When healthy, Metchie should be the number 2 receiver.
In the 3rd round, Houston picked another Alabama player in linebacker Christian Harris. Harris is undersized at 6’, 226 lbs. but runs a 4.4. He’s an inside linebacker but could move outside due to his athletic ability. Harris comes with a lot of upside.
On day 3, the Texans added running back Dameon Pierce, Teagan Quitoriano, and Austin Deculus to the offense to help quarterback Davis Mills.
Pierce was selected at help an ailing rushing attack that only had 23 rushes of 10 or more yards last season. Pierce was very productive last season on 119 attempts with 790 yards and 16 total touchdowns. While he may not be the fastest running back, he makes up for it by being a violent runner.
Quitoriano is a big tight end at 6’5”, 258 lbs. and has some basketball background. He has good footwork and good toughness. The Texans really only have 2021 5th round pick Jordan Bevins in front of Quitoriano. He’s a developmental player but could see some playing time this season.
The Texans stayed in the SEC when selecting lineman and after adding Green in the 1st, added LSU offensive lineman Austin Deculus in the 6th. The 6’5” 321 lbs. lineman projects to play tackle for the Texans and played in more games (61) than any other player in LSU history. Deculus has good technique and scored an 8.24 RAS (relative athletic score).
The Texans used one of their 5th round selections on Thomas Booker, a defensive end from Stanford. Booker is 6’3”, 300 lbs. and can play both inside and outside. He played everything from 1 technique to 9 technique. Booker was a team captain for Stanford is a good athlete. He did only have 2 sacks over his last 18 games but if he settles into a position could fix his production.
The Texans took some risk selecting injured players but if they shake off their injuries this draft class could set Houston up for some success and with the draft picks acquired in the DeShaun Watson trade, could set themselves up nicely for the foreseeable future.