Houston Texans 2022 Draft
The return of professional football in Houston has been underwhelming, to say the least, since the Texans debuted in the 2003 season. Things appeared to be heading in the right direction when Houston won the AFC South six times between 2011 and 2019. In 2017, Deshaun Watson was chosen to be the franchise quarterback and appeared to have the potential to lead the franchise for years to come.
But the Texans are 8-25 in their past two seasons and have turmoil throughout the organization. Watson, who was accused of sexual assault before the 2021 season, still hasn’t been traded or released, as the Texans wait for his legal issues to work themselves out. Houston is also in the position of breaking in Lovie Smith as the new head coach.
Smith’s hiring wasn’t undeserved, as he has an 89-87 record as a head coach that included guiding the Bears to an appearance in Super Bowl XLI, but bizarre because Houston only gave David Culley one season to lead the franchise in which the Texans went 4-13. Now Smith takes over a franchise in flux with $16 million to work with before making other moves to free up space.
Players Leaving the Houston Texans
A large part of Houston’s offseason plan to free up cap space will revolve around what they do with Watson. However, it is difficult to know if the Texans will be able to move their signal-caller, who has struggled with legal issues. If Houston were to release Watson, it would save $24 million in cap space, but would have to eat $16 million in dead money. Finding a trade partner would be the best fit for the Texans, which is unlikely, but Watson should be gone either way.
Offensive tackle Marcus Cannon has a $5.2 million cap hit and will be someone Houston looks to move on from. The Texans lineman only played in four games last year due to injury, and he is now 34. Houston should be able to find other players for less money to fill out depth spots on the roster.
Safety Eric Murray hasn’t been what the Texans hoped he would be when they signed him in free agency before the 2020 season. In Murray’s two seasons in Houston, he has defended six passes and intercepted a pass. He had two sacks in 2020 but didn’t record any during the 2021 season.
Positions Needed by the Houston Texans
Like many teams, Houston is in desperate need of pass rushers. The Texans didn’t struggle to force turnovers last season — Houston intercepted 17 passes — but did struggle to get opposing quarterbacks to the ground. Defensive end Jonathan Greenard led the Texans with 8.0 sacks, but no one else had more than four, and the team had 32 overall. Adding a few more pass-rushing threats can only help Smith, who made his career with solid defenses.
The Texans also are in desperate need of a quarterback. Davis Mills surprised many with solid play as a rookie, passing for 2,664 yards with 16 passing touchdowns against 10 interceptions. While Mills was good for a rookie, Houston was 2-9 in games he started. The Texans will want to add another rookie or veteran option to challenge for the job.
Houston will also need to add a few playmakers in the backfield. Rex Burkhead led the Texans with 427 rushing yards and three touchdowns; however, he wasn’t intended to be the full-time starter and is 31-years old. Mark Ingram was second on the team in rushing but only played in seven games.
The Texans struggled mightily in the trenches and will be looking to infuse their offensive line with several new starters and more depth behind them. Houston may have a few cap casualties and don’t have much salary cap room, so the Texans will need to replace some of those players through the draft.
Last season, Houston had the worst rushing attack in the NFL, being limited to 83.6 yards per game. The Texans’ offense was also the worst in the NFL in yards gained, averaging 278.1 yards per contest.
Houston Texans Mock Draft
The Houston Texans have seven picks available in the 2022 draft. With the third pick overall, expect Houston to address its holes at cornerback by taking Clemson defensive back Andrew Booth Jr. Booth broke up five passes during the 2021 season with the Tigers and also intercepted three passes.
Booth wasn’t shy about making tackles, wrapping up 26 solo attempts. The Texans will look to bolster its linebacking corps in the second round. Penn State linebacker Brandon Smith should be available at No. 37 for Houston. During his junior season at Penn State, Smith broke up five passes, forced a fumble, and wrapped up 81 tackles, 45 of which were solo.
In the third round, Houston should be able to find some more pop in its backfield. The Texans may be able to grab Breece Hall, a running back from Iowa State. Hall had a strong senior season with the Cyclones, compiling 1,472 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns.
Adding guard Dylan Parham of Memphis could strengthen the offensive line. Parham, a 6-foot-3, 285-pound senior lineman, was named first-team All-AAC last season. He started in 11 games for a Memphis offense that ranked 16th nationally in passing offense, averaging 298.8 yards per game. Check Houston Texans NFL Draft odds and NFL Odds.
2022 NFL Draft Event Information
- Date: Thursday, Apr. 28th (Round 1) | Friday, Apr. 29th (Rounds 2-3) | Saturday, Apr. 30th (Rounds 4-7)
- Time: 8 p.m. ET (Thursday) | 7 p.m. ET (Friday) | Noon ET (Saturday)
- Location: Allegiant Stadium, Paradise, NV
- TV Channel: ABC | ESPN | NFL Network
- NFL Draft Live Streaming: NFL Game Pass
2022 NFL First-Round Draft Order (with 2021 records)
- Jacksonville Jaguars
- Detroit Lions
- Houston Texans
- NY Jets
- NY Giants
- Carolina Panthers
- NY Giants (via Bears)
- Atlanta Falcons
- Seattle Seahawks (via Broncos)
- NY Jets (via Seahawks)
- Washington Commanders
- Minnesota Vikings
- Houston Texans (via Browns)
- Baltimore Ravens
- Philadelphia Eagles (via Dolphins)
- Philadelphia Eagles (via Colts)
- LA Chargers
- New Orleans Saints
- Philadelphia Eagles
- Pittsburgh Steelers
- New England Patriots
- Green Bay Packers (via Raiders)
- Arizona Cardinals
- Dallas Cowboys
- Buffalo Bills
- Tennessee Titans
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Green Bay Packers
- Kansas City Chiefs (via 49ers)
- Kansas City Chiefs
- Cincinnati Bengals
- Detroit Lions (via Rams)
Teams with no First Round Pick
- San Francisco 49ers
- Chicago Bears
- Denver Broncos
- Cleveland Browns
- Indianapolis Colts
- Las Vegas Raiders
- Los Angeles Rams
- Miami Dolphins