The Texans made wholesale changes again after another disappointing season, most notably replacing coach Lovie Smith with DeMeco Ryans. The NFL Draft gives Houston a chance to make a change at quarterback.
While there's no guarantee the Texans will draft a signal-caller second overall, Houston is widely expected to pounce on this year's QB class and finally fill the void left by Deshaun Watson's exit.
At least one of Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud will still be on the board for the Texans, though general manager Nick Caserio has proven he's willing to go outside the box and make a bold choice.
There was a way to avoid that scenario - the Texans just needed to lose in Week 18 to land the No. 1 overall pick - but a win over the Colts was enough to bump them down to No. 2. Still, this isn't such a bad position for a franchise in desperate need of a quarterback.
The work won't end with the second overall pick. The Texans have 12 total draft picks, including another first-rounder, and every one of them will be critical as Houston works to rebuild a depleted roster.
The Sporting News is tracking the Texans' 2023 NFL Draft selections, from Round 1 to Round 7. Follow along with the picks below.
Texans draft picks 2023: Who did Houston take?
- Round 1, Pick No. 2: QB C.J. Stroud, Ohio State
- Round 1, Pick No. 12: EDGE Will Anderson, Alabama
- Round 2, Pick No. 62: C Juice Scruggs, Penn State
- Round 3, Pick No. 69: WR Tank Dell, Houston
- Round 4, Pick No. 109: EDGE Dylan Horton, TCU
- Round 5, Pick No. 167: LB Henry To'oTo'o, Alabama
- Round 6, Pick No. 201: C Jarrett Patterson, Notre Dame
- Round 6, Pick No. 205: WR Xavier Hutchinson, Iowa State
- Round 7, Pick No. 248: S Brrandon Hill, Pitt
Texans 2023 NFL Draft order
|1||12 (from CLE)|
|4||109 (from LV)|
|6||201 (from MIN)|
Texans NFL Draft needs
- Quarterback: There's no greater need for the Texans than quarterback. Davis Mills could have a fine NFL career as a backup, but he proved in 2022 that he was not the long-term starter in Houston. With no other long-term option on the roster and the No. 2 pick in hand, don't expect the Texans to overthink this one.
- Wide receiver: The Texans traded away Brandin Cooks in March, leaving Robert Woods, Nico Collins and John Metchie III as their top wide receivers. Metchie is an intriguing weapon after he missed all of his rookie season with leukemia, but there's no surefire No. 1 receiver here. Teams that draft a quarterback early tend to give him some help later on, and the Texans likely won't be any different. The 12th pick might be too early for a receiver, unless Caserio falls in love with Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Jordan Addison or someone else. Three Day 2 picks give Houston some flexibility to find the right guy.
- Edger rusher: The Texans continue to lack a truly dangerous rusher and have since J.J. Watt was at his peak. Jonathan Greenard showed some flashes in 2021 before missing a large portion of the 2022 season, while Jerry Hughes will be 35 in August and Chase Winovich isn't more than a rotational pass-rusher. The 12th overall pick could be the spot to snag an EDGE, if the right one is available.
- Defensive tackle: Sheldon Rankins and Maliek Collins at least give the Texans a veteran duo inside, but both are closer to stopgap options than realistic long-term pieces. Houston tried to solve the issue in 2020 by drafting Ross Blacklock, who's no longer on the team. This draft feels like the right time to go out and plug the middle, even if it means taking a developmental prospect who can learn from Rankins.
Texans mock draft 2023
Here is how the Texans' draft could unfold in 2023, according to TSN's Vinnie Iyer's seven-round mock draft:
|1||2||C.J. Stroud||QB||Ohio State|
|2||33||Lukas Van Ness||EDGE||Iowa|
|6||203||Merlin Robertson||LB||Arizona State|