For the third offseason in a row, it’s a new head coach in Houston. Can Nick Caserio start off on the right foot with DeMeco Ryans? In this Houston Texans 2023 NFL Mock Draft, Houston plays the board effectively and kick-starts the coming rebuild with a definite jolt.
In this scenario, simulated trades were active among other teams via the Mock Draft Simulator, but the Texans held steady and did not make any moves.
Latest Houston Texans 2023 NFL Mock Draft
QB Bryce Young, Alabama | Round 1, Pick 2
There are four potential franchise quarterbacks at the top end of the 2023 NFL Draft. Compared to his peers, Bryce Young doesn’t look the part on the surface. But he has the creation capacity, intangibles, vision, and remarkable poise to combat that perception.
EDGE Lukas Van Ness | Round 1, Pick 12
When you think of the defensive linemen Ryans craves, you think of power, alignment versatility, and the ability to attack downhill without discretion. Lukas Van Ness brings that exact mix of functions with his athleticism and length at 6’5″, 275 pounds.
C John Michael Schmitz, Minnesota | Round 2, Pick 33
Getting a franchise QB is No. 1 on the Texans’ to-do list. Not far behind it, however, is getting a center who can keep that QB clean. John Michael Schmitz has that ability with his anchor in pass protection, and he’s also a road-grader for Dameon Pierce on the ground.
G Steve Avila, TCU | Round 3, Pick 65
Steve Avila stays in the state of Texas in this Texans NFL Mock Draft, joining up with Schmitz, Kenyon Green, Laremy Tunsil, and Tytus Howard on the front.
Avila isn’t an elite athlete, but he’s truly a rock-solid blocker with synergy, strength, and vicious knock-back power in his hands.
WR Rashee Rice, SMU | Round 3, Pick 73
A less-than-stellar Senior Bowl showing, combined with what could be shaky medicals, will surely deflate Rashee Rice‘s stock. I’m still a big fan of Rice’s buy-low potential in Round 3, given his complete three-level framework and superb instincts at the catch point.
DT Byron Young, Alabama | Round 4, Pick 104
I have a safe Day 2 grade on Alabama DT Byron Young, so if he’s still here for Houston, he’s a must-grab at the top of Round 4. He’s already a near-elite run defender with stellar strength and leverage, but he’s also flashed the necessary athleticism and power application to rush the passer.
TE Payne Durham, Purdue | Round 5, Pick 138
For a team like the Texans, which has so many premier position needs, tight end is more of a luxury. But in this class, Houston can potentially get a value deal at TE on Day 3. Payne Durham could be that guy, given his well-rounded profile and reliability at the catch point.
LB Cam Jones, Indiana | Round 6, Pick 188
The hope is that Christian Harris continues to develop in Year 2. Regardless, there’s room for Houston to add more talent at linebacker. Cam Jones has the potential to exceed his draft billing. At 6’1″, 230, he’s a free-flowing athlete with good mobility in coverage and a willingness to come downhill.
RB Keaton Mitchell, East Carolina | Round 6, Pick 201
Pierce is a brawler, and he’s a good one at that. But in the modern NFL, you need a variety of flavors at RB. Keaton Mitchell, who ran for almost 1,500 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2022, has the explosiveness, speed, and smooth flexibility on his cuts to be Pierce’s lightning.
WR Jason Brownlee, Southern Miss | Round 6, Pick 203
One WR pick shouldn’t be enough for the Texans, given the uncertainty they have at the position. In Round 6, Jason Brownlee is a great sleeper addition from Southern Miss. He’s 6’2″, 202 pounds, with almost 34″ arms, and he’s a twitchy separator for that size.
DL Ikenna Enechukwu, Rice | Round 6, Pick 207
This late in our Texans NFL Mock Draft, we’re searching for depth and versatility on the defensive line. Ikenna Enechukwu provides both. At 6’4″, 266 pounds, with near-34″ arms, Enechukwu has the size and athleticism to rush outside or barrel through interior gaps with power.
LB Mikel Jones, Syracuse | Round 7, Pick 239
Mikel Jones is one linebacker prospect who might go lower than he deserves simply because he measures under 6’0″. Interestingly, he has some of the longest arms in the class at 33 1/4″. More importantly, he’s a physical, instinctive defender in the box.
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