2022 NFL DRAFT DEEP DIVE: HOUSTON TEXANS
By Tres Valenzuela
The NFL Draft is over, and we cannot head into the three-month abyss that is the offseason without looking at what all 262 selections mean for each franchise. Whilst too early to judge just how successful a draft class each team’s was, we can look at how rookies fit within schemes, where they stand on depth charts, and who we can expect to make an impact in 2022. We continue our team by team series with the Houston Texans:
|1||15||Kenyon Green||IOL||Texas A&M|
|5||170||Teagan Quitoriano||TE||Oregon State|
With the 3rd pick of the draft, the Texans took a prospect who is both exciting and necessary, LSU corner Derek Stingley Jr. The Texans are desperate at secondary and added who I felt was the most NFL ready. Stingley was a huge recruit and a starter the moment he arrived at LSU and his play backed the hype up. With a team in a major rebuild, Stingley will be the face of a forgotten franchise until a QB is found.
Houston finished their first round by taking Texan native Kenyon Green out of A&M. Although Green went earlier than most mocks predicted him he will surely be an upgrade at guard in an offense that had an abysmal run game last season. Not the flashiest but likely a solid pick for Houston.
To start day 2 Houston again added to their secondary after selecting Jalen Pitre out of Baylor. Pitre provides a lot of versatility to Houston in an era that demands that skillset from at least one player in the secondary. Pitre lined up primarily as a nickel but will likely see time at outside corner and safety in his rookie year.
Houston then took one of the steadiest college performers in the draft in Alabama wideout John Metchie. It’s not a stretch to say that Metchie if healthy could wind up passing Brandin Cooks as WR in Houston. After coming off a torn ACL in the postseason Metchie should still have enough time to recover and play in week one.
In the third round, Houston picked another Bama standout, linebacker Christian Harris. Harris reminds me of former Bama backer Mack Wilson who Cleveland took a few years back in the 5th round, a bit undersized but very rangey and loves to make a hit on the ball. If Harris could find his way as a starting linebacker at Bama I see no reason why he won’t start and make a big impact immediately in Houston.
Houston decided their final day should start with an addition to a depleted backfield. Former Gator Dameon Pierce should spell Marlon Mack and could possibly take his job by season’s end. Houston then decided to address the line of scrimmage once again, but this time on defense. Thomas Booker had a solid career at Stanford, but given his limited pass-rushing ability his presence will likely be found inside stopping the run.
Houston’s next pick added another blocking tight end. Teagan Quitoriano had just over 200 yards last year so he will need to make the roster by showing his blocking can translate to the next level or making a bunch of plays on special teams. With their last pick, Houston went back to o-line and took tackle Austin Deculus. Deculus started 4 years at right tackle at LSU and worst case scenario will provide depth to one of the worst o-lines in the league.
One To Watch: Derek Stingley
Normally one to watch is reserved for UFDA’s or late-round picks but given the current state of the franchise all eyes will be on Stingley Jr. from the moment he signs on the dotted line. Stingley Jr. did not test like you would expect the first corner in the draft to, but he is a solid example of a player that impresses on tape.
His final score fell slightly with agilities, but ultimately a RAS well within elite range.— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 10, 2022
Derek Stingley Jr. is a CB prospect in the 2022 draft class. He scored a 8.97 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 204 out of 1974 CB from 1987 to 2022. https://t.co/nV9DvUWpYs #RAS pic.twitter.com/weUBTataCP
Stingley Jr. knows when to be patient with his prey just as well as he knows when to attack it and with the immediate task of following number 1 wideouts on a weekly basis, he will certainly be battle-tested. I envision that he will take on the task and could very easily be the defensive rookie of the year come seasons end.
|Tristin McCollum||S||Sam Houston State|
|Kurt Hinish||IDL||Notre Dame|
The Texans did not do anything to embarrass themselves at this year’s draft, and with how last season played out that is a major victory. Will holes all over the roster almost any selection will be an improvement to the current 53. With a coach like Lovie Smith leading the charge, it is no wonder Houston was so keen on addressing both sides of the line of scrimmage.
That being said there is still a bleak future unless we see a Davis Mills miracle season. It is likely that these picks will see a meaningful snap this season and will wait for a total roster rehaul to see their true impact.
A FORMER COLLEGIATE WIDE RECEIVER AND CURRENT TEXAN, TRES LIVES STATESIDE AND HAS AN AFFINITY FOR BAKER MAYFIELD. IN ADDITION TO WRITING FOR THE TOUCHDOWN, TRES ALSO WORKS AS AN NCAA ANALYST FOR PRO FOOTBALL FOCUS.