The Houston Texans went into this year’s draft with a fill the needs on their team approach. Although they were targeting one of the top quarterbacks in the draft class, they didn’t want to sell the farm because they believe in Drew Lock. They just wanted to bring in some friendly competition during the pre-season. The Texans wanted to fill open spots at the defensive end, full back, wide receiver, defensive back, and punter positions. They were able to fill most of their needs without trading up in the draft.
They drafted strong safety Maurice Hampton Jr out of LSU in the first round. He had a true talent value of 10th overall and they drafted him at 14th overall. The Texans really liked Hampton’s combine score, he was one of the fastest safeties in the draft. His ability to play safety, corner, and sub linebacker drew their eye. His weight is perfect for the linebacker position but his hit power is two points shy of the restrictions to play the position in PML. The Texans are exploring all outlets to send him to a training camp this summer to help boost his hit power, so that in week one, he will be able to play at any position they ask him to. The Texans second round selection was one that came as a surprise to them. They wanted to draft a slot receiver to fill the void that Marquise Goodwin left when he wasn’t re-signed this past off-season. They were expecting to pick up a speedy flier in the latter rounds, but Rakim Jarrett out of Maryland fell into their laps.
The Texans drafted wide receiver Rakim Jarrett with the 46th pick in the draft but he was ranked #6 in true value. The Texans got a steal of a pick and Jarrett’s speed and acceleration will help him transition in this uptempo Texan’s offense quickly. Jarrett was coveted for his ability to catch the ball in open space and in traffic. He is able to see the entire field after the catch and turn on a dime. His route running can use some more polishing, but the Texans aren’t going to ask a lot of him in terms of running routes. The Texans have been known to use their rookie playmakers and just a season ago, we saw receiver Joseph Ngata targeted heavily in the red zone and he finished the season with eight touchdowns. The Texans used their third round pick to target another area of need on the defensive side of the ball.
The Texans drafted defensive end Justin Eboigbe out of Alabama with the 78th pick in the draft. He was ranked #66th in true value and is viewed as JJ Watt’s successor by many in the organization. He has top tier strength, hit power, and was known in college for forcing fumbles, so he was gifted with the ‘big hitter’ trait. Eboigbe is going to get all of the snaps at starting defensive end in pre-season and this will be his time to show the organization that he can make a major impact on the defensive line just as Watt has all these years in Houston. The Texans made a splashy pick with their fourth rounder and addressed the gaping whole at special teams.
The Texans had a vacancy at the punter position and drafted Austin Mcnamara out of Texas Tech. Mcnamara is known for his huge leg, he was averaging punts of 50 plus yards in college. The Texans spent the rest of their draft loading up on depth positions. They drafted cornerback Tiawan Mullen out of Indiana, full back Jax Dineen out of Kansas State, and took a flier on quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa out of Maryland. The Texans are hoping that the duo of Tagovailoa and Jarrett will help each other grow as they learn the ins and out of the offensive scheme. The Texans are very excited about their draft class and are hoping that their rookies and first year players are able to show out in pre-season week 1. The Texans play the Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints in week one and week two of pre-season. The AFC South plays the NFC South this season, so we expect for the Texans to test out new plays and a new scheme to avoid giving away too much before the regular season.