If there's anything we learned about the Texans in 2018, it's that Deshaun Watson is a special player. If there's something else we learned, it's that he can't do it by himself. And that conversation begins and ends with the offensive line, which was a huge liability all season. This offseason will be all about addressing those key needs.
Here's what you need to know about the Houston Texans and the 2019 NFL Draft.
2019 draft picks
- Round 1: Houston
- Round 2: Houston, Seattle
- Round 3: Houston
- Round 4: None
- Round 5: Houston
- Round 6: Houston
- Round 7: Denver
The Texans have an additional second-round pick as part of the trade that sent left tackle Duane Brown to Seattle. They traded their fourth- and seventh-round picks to Denver as part of the trade that brought Demaryius Thomas and a seventh-rounder to Houston.
Biggest offseason needs
- Offensive tackle
- Interior offensive line
- Tight end
- Running back
- Pass rusher
- Defensive tackle
- Wide receiver
Here's all you need to know: Watson was sacked 62 times in the regular season and three more times in the wild-card loss to the Colts. This is not sustainable, even if Watson is one of the NFL's most athletic quarterbacks. He's 14 months removed from an ACL injury, and keeping him upright has to be priority No. 1. And while the team is set at wide receiver, finding a middle-of-the-field threat makes sense in a deep tight end class. This draft class is deep at running back, especially on Day 2; Alfred Blue's contract is up and Lamar Miller's contract expires after the 2019 season.
At cornerback, former first-round pick Kevin Johnson has battled injuries and 34-year-old Johnathan Joseph has one year left on his contract. Safety Tyrann Mathieu is set to hit free agency unless he's re-signed. And edge rusher could also be a need if the Texans chose not to franchise Jadeveon Clowney (the expectation is that they will).
Prospects to watch
David Edwards, OT, Wisconsin
He may not be as athletic as West Virginia's Yodny Cajuste but Williams is a mauler in run game. He's less consistent in pass protection that will improve with coaching. Either way, when he gets his hands on a defensive lineman, that's a wrap.
Yodny Cajuste, OT, West Virginia
Extremely athletic with good feet, Cajuste was tasked with protecting Will Grier at West Virginia. When he locks on to pass rushers he doesn't let go. He also shows the ability to pull effectively in the running game, and while he's not a technician, Cajuste keeps his head up and his weight balanced. He has the quickness to beat defensive ends to the spot on speed rushes and shows the ability to combo-block and get to second level with ease.
Chris Lindstrom, OL, Boston College
Lindstrom, who has strong hands and is nimble for his size, shows good footwork to manipulate defenders in the running game. He's also proficient on combo-blocks and easily gets to second level.
Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
The most athletic tight end in this draft class, Fant was underutilized at Iowa; he had just 39 receptions for 518 yards and seven touchdowns in 2018, but he's a playmaker in the mold of Evan Engram or George Kittle, and would give the Watson a much-needed playmaker in the middle of the field.
Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S, Florida
An instinctive player who had a huge final game for the Gators, Gardner-Johnson logged two interceptions -- including a late-game pick-six -- against Michigan in the Peach Bowl. Gardner-Johnson was something of a liability as a tackler in 2017 but he was much more aggressive this season. He can play both safety positions as well as in the slot and his versatility will make him valuable to NFL teams looking to bolster their secondary.
Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia
Baker may not be the athlete of Greedy Williams or Byron Murphy but he put up better college numbers. He shows good long speed, smooth hips, and the ability to change direction. He was rarely targeted during his senior season in part because his mirroring technique was superb. He's not great in run support but he may not need to be if his college success translates to the NFL.
David Montgomery, RB, Iowa State
Montgomery almost certainly won't find his way into the first round but he's a first-round talent. He's hard to bring down with initial contact, and he's elusive and slippery in the hole. When he gets downhill he's hard to catch and while he didn't have a lot of receptions in college he looks willing and capable of that role at the next level.