Houston Texans Post Free Agency 2022 Seven Round Mock Draftby Jonas Clark April 12, 2022 0 comments
It is a new era for the Houston Texans following the trade of Deshaun Watson to the Cleveland Browns. The Texans can move forward with their rebuild and the future. Thanks to the trade, Houston now has a second first-round selection in each of the next three drafts. The Texans are seemingly committed to Davis Mills as the quarterback for the moment. As it is, Nick Caserio and company have enough to address as they evaluate last year’s third-round signal-caller anyway. To build up the roster, the Texans have 11 total picks to lay a strong, young foundation.
To help with this mock draft, I used The Draft Network’s mock draft simulator.
Make sure to check out all of our other NFL Team Mock Drafts.
Round 1, Pick 3: Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia
Walker was a great fit with the third overall selection in the pre-free agency mock draft, and after his pro day, is still worthy. He is listed as the second-best edge rusher in the class behind likely first-pick Aidan Hutchinson. The junior out of Georgia brings a fierce, versatile defensive presence to Houston’s front. In a division that includes Derrick Henry and Jonathan Taylor, Walker is a special response on the opposite side of the ball. With a defensive-minded head coach in Lovie Smith, Walker is poised to stand out. He is a strong successor to take up the mantle off the edge from J.J. Watt, Whitney Mercilus, and Jadeveon Clowney who came before him.
For more on Walker, check out our scouting report on him.
Round 1, Pick 13: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
Houston addressed their defensive identity with Walker third overall. Now they’re able to get one of the best offensive playmakers in the class with their first-round pick from Cleveland. Olave is widely considered the second-best wide receiver in the 2022 class behind his college teammate Garrett Wilson. Olave gives Mills a reliable target and excellent route-runner with big-play ability. Paired with the newly extended Brandin Cooks, Olave immediately upgrades the position group for Houston as a future first option. Along with Nico Collins, Houston’s passing game is looking good.
For more on Olave, check out our scouting report on him.
.@OhioStateFB @chrisolave_ runs this route for 1/35 career TD’s but it’s the details; the short area quickness , and the separation that results that makes you excited for his success in the ##NFL. #BaldysBreakdowns pic.twitter.com/fc4cUUw1ez
— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) March 9, 2022
Round 2, Pick 37: Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn State
A great pass rush can often be eliminated by a porous secondary. Adding Brisker in the second round addresses that. Oddly enough, in his draft profile on NFL.com, analyst Lance Zierlein’s NFL comparison for Brisker is Justin Reid. Reid was Houston’s third-round selection from 2018, who joined the Kansas City Chiefs in free agency this spring. Replacing Reid with Brisker would be ideal for the Texans, especially at this point in the draft.
For more on Brisker, check out our scouting report on him.
Round 3, Pick 68: Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan State
The Texans have struggled in recent seasons to put together a strong backfield. Entering the 2022 season with Rex Burkhead and Marlon Mack as the primary options would be irresponsible and unacceptable. Walker is a determined runner who led the FBS in yards after contact and shed tackles like a Siberian husky in a Texas summer, shaking off 89 defenders in 2021. Houston needs a featured running back, and Walker gives them an excellent option in the third round.
For more on Walker, check out our scouting report on him.
Round 3, Pick 80: Cade Otton, TE, Washington
Though Isaiah Likely and Jeremy Ruckert are on the board, the Texans would likely go after Otton. Unlike the other two, he is largely a pass-catching tight end with great size. To get the most out of Mills under center, the young quarterback needs options. Otton would complement Olave and Cooks as a 6’5” safety blanket. While he isn’t the most balanced tight end, his route-running, catching, and ability to stretch the field will make a massive difference for Mills.
Round 4, Pick 107: Zyon McCollum, CB, Sam Houston
Clocking in a 4.33 40-yard dash at the NFL combine, McCollum was the third-fasted defensive back at the event. In combination with his 6’2” has all of the makings of a playmaker for the Texans’ secondary. Making the most of his five years of eligibility at Sam Houston, McCollum was a turnover-forcing machine. He totaled 13 interceptions and six forced fumbles in his five seasons. With Terrance Mitchell gone, McCollum provides a premium backup option at cornerback behind Desmond King and Lonnie Johnson.
Round 4, Pick 108: Spencer Burford, OT, UTSA
Houston has plenty of depth on the right side of the offensive line but is severely lacking on the left side behind Laremy Tunsil and Tytus Howard. Burford is a combo-lineman that can play both guard and tackle and provide reps as a backup as a rookie. With ideal size, the product out UTSA will need coaching but developing behind Tunsil and Howard will help. Even with their young offensive line, the Texans need to add depth in the middle rounds.
Round 6, Pick 183: Damone Clark, LB, LSU
Unfortunately, whatever team that drafts Clark will have to wait a season after he had spinal fusion surgery in March following the NFL combine. Early in a rebuild, Houston has the luxury of taking an unready product with upside potential. Using the first of their three sixth-round picks to grab Clark is an affordable investment for the future of the team, who coincidentally bought time by bringing Christian Kirksey back this offseason.
This is exactly the speed & range #NFL scouts are looking for and @LSUfootball LB Damone Clark has it. @clark_damone is one of biggest risers on @seniorbowl board from start of season to now. #TheDraftStartsInMOBILE™️ #BestoftheBest https://t.co/YG9OKwH0sC pic.twitter.com/cMDtdP535S
— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) October 25, 2021
Round 6, Pick 205: Micheal Clemons, EDGE, Texas A&M
One edge rusher isn’t enough for the Texans in this draft, after tying the Jacksonville Jaguars for the fourth-fewest sacks in 2021. Clemons has the traits to become a key contributor to the rebuilding defense with his exceptional size and motor. Improving his sack numbers year-over-year, Clemons had 11 tackles for loss in 2021, hitting quarterbacks for seven of them. A terror behind the line of scrimmage, he also led the Aggies with 13 hurries.
Round 6, Pick 207: Neil Farrell Jr., DL, LSU
Houston lacks depth on the inside of the defensive line where Maliek Collins and Roy Lopez are currently the top options. A gap-plugger up the middle, Farrell’s run-stuffing ability holds immense value in the AFC South if he can make the rotation on the line. Though he isn’t a productive sack option, he eliminates the middle as an option, providing a wall against the running backs in the division.
Round 7, Pick 245: Smoke Monday, S, Auburn
If the draft plays out this way, Monday would be Houston’s fifth player from the SEC, which isn’t a coincidence. Monday is a locker room guy and a sideline guy who also contributes as depth in the secondary. Those are key attributes of a young team that may face low morale at times. With good size and speed coming out of Auburn, he was a rangy defender, who lived all over the field, including in the backfield. From the safety position, Monday recorded nine tackles for loss, two for sacks, as well as six passes defended. Additionally, he returned an interception for a touchdown in each of his last three seasons, including a 100-yarder in 2020.
For more on Monday, check out our scouting report on him.
Follow Jonas Clark on Twitter @jarkclonas
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