2018 NFL Draft: Houston Texans team needs, draft picks, prospects to watch
With their 2017 season basically over, it's time for Texans fans to turn their attention to the draft
The Texans made a stunning move up the 2017 draft in order to land a franchise quarterback, and it paid off big-time when Deshaun Watson proved to be the most exciting rookie of the first half of the season before an injury ended his year early. Still, the Texans know they have the most important piece of the roster locked in and multiple stars on both sides of the ball. So what do they need? Let's dive into it.
2018 draft picks
- Round 1: None
- Round 2: None
- Round 3: Houston, Seattle
- Round 4: Houston
- Round 5: None
- Round 6: Houston
- Round 7: Houston
The Texans of course paid quite the price to land Watson, sending the Browns their first-round pick in this draft for the opportunity to move up in 2017. Houston also sacrificed its second-round pick in order to clear Brock Osweiler from their ledger, sending it to the Browns as well. They did upgrade their fifth-rounder to a third-rounder in the trade that sent tackle Duane Brown to the Seahawks, which also netted Houston an extra second-rounder in 2019. With that future pick in tow, the Texans have the option to package a 2019 Day 2 pick with one of their third-rounders this year should they want to make a leap for a particular target in 2018.
Biggest offseason needs
- Offensive line
The Texans are pretty well set up at their skill positions with two quality options in the running game, a beast in No. 1 receiver DeAndre Hopkins and a quality secondary option in Will Fuller, but they need to get Watson some help up front, and fast. The team can't count on anything from right tackle Derek Newton, who's trying to work his way back from ruptured patellar tendons. No one has played well enough on the line to lock up a starting spot, so it wouldn't be a shock to see the Texans use their limited draft capital on multiple offensive linemen.
The front-seven has an excellent chance at being elite if J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus can stay healthy in 2018, as players like D.J. Reader and Christian Covington have played well. Even at inside linebacker, where it's time to move on from Brian Cushing and save $8.5 million in cap space, the team has a pair of young second-round picks in Bernardrick McKinney and Zach Cunningham to lean on.
The Texans don't have too much to hang their hat on in the secondary though. Kareem Jackson might not be worth the expensive price tag, but Johnathan Joseph is a free agent and Kevin Johnson has been routinely burned in coverage. Talent needs to be found somewhere. At safety, Andre Hal is worth sticking with at one spot, but the team needs to find another capable starter next to him.
Prospects to watch
Jones showed drastic improvement in his final year with the Buckeyes, and he has the size and length to step right into the left tackle spot at the professional level. He could be available when the Texans go on the clock in Round 3, or the Texans could choose to make a move into the second round to draft a tackle.
Meeks is a long, rangy cornerback who's had his fair share of experience on an island. As a run defender, he's unafraid to lower the boom on running backs. The 6-foot-2 Meeks has six pass breakups and two interceptions this season for the Cardinal.
Harrison is an enforcer on the back end of Alabama's defense. While he doesn't project to a center field role in the NFL, his versatility and thumping ability against the run will make him a hot commodity come draft time.
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