Texans replenish ranks

The NFL draft has come and gone and the Texans braintrust feels they have addressed some apparent needs and replenished the ranks with quality young talent.

The Texans allowed quarterback Deshaun Watson to be sacked a league-high 62 times in 2018. As a result, protecting the quarterback going into the 2019 draft was a high priority. 

With the 23rdselection of the first round, the Texans selected Tytus Howard, a 6-foot-5, 322-pound offensive tackle from Alabama State University. Howard’s job will be to serve as Watson’s bodyguard.

We first introduced you to Howard several weeks ago in the Defender. Howard, an All-SWAC performer, was a three-year starter at Alabama State. His stock has rapidly risen after an outstanding week of practice at the Senior Bowl and a stellar NFL Scouting Combine performance. 

Howard is the first SWAC athlete drafted in the first round since 2000 when Sylvester Morris and Rashard Anderson, both from Jackson State, were first-round selections. 

Texan General Manager Brian Gaine explained what led to the selection of Howard. 

“We felt like he passed each test in terms of the process of scouting with flying colors,” Gaine said. “What I mean by that is if you just think back to the fall season, how he played during the fall, had starts both on the left side and the right side, goes to the Senior Bowl and plays well, goes to the best All-Star game in the business and plays well. In fact, he started that game.”

“[At the Combine, Howard] did very well in the interview process, the private workout settings that we had with him, the Pro Day settings. I felt like with each interval, he was able to pass each segment with flying colors. He made a very favorable impression in terms of the intangible profile, the person. The character matched with the physical ability and the physical traits. We felt like he checked all the boxes.”     

Howard was elated to go in the first round to the Texans.

“It’s just an unbelievable feeling right now,” he said. “I’m just blessed to be a part of the Houston Texans. I had a good feeling about the team when I did my visit and they decided to draft me. I promise you they didn’t make a mistake. I’m going to go out there and give them everything I have.” 

Howard also understands what he represents as an HBCU player drafted in the first round. 

“It’s just so special to me to represent the HBCU schools and the SWAC, [and] to show that you can have players come from HBCU and the SWAC and just be good players like they 

have in the SEC and ACC. I’m going to make the most out of it so guys in the future who are from the SWAC get a chance to get looked at like I did,” he said.

Texan draft picks

1Tytus HowardOffensive tackleAlabama State6-5, 322
2Lonnie JohnsonMax ShcarpingCornerbackOffensive linemanKentuckyNorthern Illinois6-1, 2136-6, 327
3Kahale WarringTight endSan Diego State6-5, 252
4No Pick   
5Charles OmenihuDefensive endTexas6-5, 280
6Xavier CrawfordCornerbackCentral Michigan5-11, 187
7Cullen GillaspiaFullbackTexas A&M6-1, 235