Coming off a 4-12 season that saw the loss of star quarterback Deshaun Watson, the Houston Texans need to look at bulking up their offensive line to protect him.
They’ll have that opportunity in the NFL Draft, which runs from Thursday, April 26 – Saturday, April 28.
Houston has eight picks in the draft this year. The team does not have picks in the first, second or fifth rounds. This is also the first time in franchise history that the Texans don’t own a first or second round pick.
You may remember, the Texans swapped their first-round pick last April with the Cleveland Browns so they could move up and draft Watson at No. 12.
The move at the time also meant trading their second round pick for a 2017 fourth rounder to send quarterback Brock Osweiler to the Browns.
Instead this year, the draft will play out for the Texans like this:
Three picks in the third round – 68th overall, 80th overall from the Seattle Seahawks, 98th overall (compensatory)
One pick in the fourth round – 103rd overall
Three picks in the sixth round – 177th overall, 211th overall (compensatory), 214th overall (compensatory)
One pick in the seventh round – 222nd overall
How have the Texans stacked up when it comes to selecting offensive players over the last few years?
Along with drafting Watson in 2017, the Texans selected running back D’Onta Foreman (Round 3, 89th overall), full back Jay Prosch in 2014 (Round 6, 211th overall), wide receivers Will Fuller (Round 1, 21st overall in 2016) and Braxton Miller (Round 3, 85th overall in 2016), tackle Julien Davenport (Round 4, 130th overall in 2017) and tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz in 2014 (Round 3, 65th overall).
Texans general manager Brian Gaine appears to be looking for some solid quarterbacks to back up Watson, who is the starter. Watson tore his ACL during practice in November, taking him out for the rest of the season.
“Obviously with our situation last year and what happened with our team losing Deshaun, we’re doing our best to fortify the position so that our spots 1, 2, and 3 are locked and loaded and we can feel confident in every level,” Gaine said.
Here are some other spots they need to fill on the roster.
Left tackle – this position was left open by Duane Brown who was traded to the Seahawks.
Tight end – Watson is going to need more weapons, especially after Fiedorowicz retiredafter suffering three concussions.
Right tackle – Derek Newton previously had that position on the team. He was released on April 12.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Texans use the picks they have on multiple offensive linemen.
But the saying also goes that defense wins championships. The Texans may have J.J. Watt, but it’s the secondary that could do with some help after giving up 30 passing touchdowns last year.
The Texans may want to look at beefing it up to help Johnathan Joseph, Kareem Jackson and Andre Hal.
For the first time in league history, the draft will be held in Arlington at AT&T Stadium.
Here’s when you can watch the NFL Draft. All times are central.
7:00 p.m. – Thursday April 26 (Round 1)
6:00 p.m. – Friday, April 27 (Rounds 2-3)
11 a.m. – Saturday, April 28 (Rounds 4-7)