Houston Texans 2023 NFL Draft: Team Needs and Top Targets

    With the 2023 NFL Draft rolling on, the Houston Texans are looking to rebuild their roster around their new QB. What are Houston's other positions of need?

    The Houston Texans have been quite busy this offseason. That didn’t change upon the start of the 2023 NFL Draft. They added TE Dalton Schultz, WR Robert Woods, and RB Devin Singletary while trading away WR Brandin Cooks.

    Then, Houston took their presumptive franchise quarterback in C.J. Stroud and traded back up to take the best defensive player in the draft, Will Anderson Jr. With some team needs addressed, but more improvements still necessary, what positions are most important for the Texans to address during the remainder of the draft?

    Houston Texans Team Needs Following Round 1 of the NFL Draft

    • WR
    • C
    • CB

    No NFL roster is perfect. Whether via free agency, trade, or the draft, each team has needs to address. And the Texans wasted no time doing so. Within the first 20 minutes of the draft, they had a new starting quarterback and a potentially elite EDGE.

    With quarterback taken care of, the Texans can cross that off the list. As for EDGE, they could still take another, but they’ve sufficiently addressed the position. If they want a second one in this draft, they can wait until the later rounds.

    With the No. 22 ranked offensive line, the Texans would be well-served to improve the position. After spending the No. 2 overall pick on a QB, Stroud needs protection. Building their offensive line is the second-most important thing Houston can do behind hopefully hitting on Stroud.

    MORE: FREE NFL Mock Draft Simulator With Trades!

    The Texans also really need wide receiver help and have for quite some time. They haven’t had a true WR1 since DeAndre Hopkins was traded ahead of the 2020 season. With Woods as their current WR1, this team should absolutely be prioritizing wide receiver in the 2023 NFL Draft.

    On the defensive side of the ball, last season, the Texans allowed the sixth-most points per game. Their pass defense looked to be quite good, but it was artificially bolstered by playing in the very weak AFC South. If they can get another strong CB to pair with Derek Stingley Jr., this defense could be a top-10 unit as early as 2024.

    Results for Team 2023 Draft Pick

    1.02 | C.J. Stroud, QB

    Prior to the draft, I wrote this about the Texans’ first pick: “Bryce Young is the current favorite to go No. 1 overall. Despite the barrage of negative news surrounding C.J. Stroud, when push comes to shove, the Texans will take the top quarterback on their board at No. 2. I believe that is Stroud.”

    That came to fruition as the Texans planted their flag on Stroud as their franchise quarterback.

    1.03 | Will Anderson Jr., EDGE

    With their second of two first-round selections, the Texans traded up with the Cardinals for the third overall pick. They took Anderson, providing Houston with what should be a franchise edge rusher.

    Predictions for Remaining Texans 2023 Draft Picks

    While it’s impossible to predict exactly how any draft will play out, we can use the PFN Mock Draft Simulator to get a pretty good idea of which players will be available at each team’s draft picks.

    3.02 | John Michael Schmitz, C

    What’s better than drafting a Big Ten center? John Michael Schmitz is a smart, athletic player, with impressive lateral movement. He has the potential to be the Texans’ center for a very long time.

    3.10 | A.T. Perry, WR

    Although he’s an older prospect at 23 years old, A.T. Perry has good size and speed for his 6’3″, 195-pound frame. Given the lack of high-end talent in this wide receiver class, the Texans could do far worse than get a possibly more-polished-than-expected outside receiver, with the plan being to attack the position harder in 2024.

    4.02 | Jaelyn Duncan, OT

    You can never have too many offensive linemen. As a truly massive human, Jaelyn Duncan has the potential to progress into a starting offensive tackle. At worst, he should be solid roster depth.

    4.03 | Kyu Blu Kelly, CB

    A 6’0″ ball hawk, Kyu Blu Kelly is as good as the Texans can hope to get from a Day 3 cornerback. While they probably would have preferred to address the position sooner, this is a deep cornerback class with players possessing legitimate starting upside still around. At worst, Kelly should be a solid CB3.

    5.26 | K.J. Henry, EDGE

    This late in the draft, teams aren’t getting any reliable starters. K.J. Henry is a good athlete with raw abilities that can’t be taught. He’s as good of a project as a team could ask for in the fifth round at a position of need.

    6.11 | Charlie Jones, WR

    Sixth-year seniors almost never pan out in the NFL, but Charlie Jones broke Purdue’s receptions record in his final season. In the sixth round, that’s as good of a reason as any to take the shot.

    6.24 | Max Duggan, QB

    I really don’t see a downside to taking a shot on another quarterback. By no means would a pick like this suggest a lack of confidence in their first-round QB.

    MORE: List of Houston Texans 2023 NFL Draft Picks

    However, if Max Duggan could end up being a solid backup, or someone they could trade, that’s great value from a sixth-round pick.

    6.26 | Mohamed Ibrahim, RB

    Another sixth-year senior, Mohamed Ibrahim posted truly elite numbers in his final season at Minnesota. He’s probably never going to matter, but the Texans have an abundance of picks and can take the shot on Ibrahim becoming their RB3.

    7.13 | Jalen Redmond, DT

    We’ve been at the point where every pick is a dart throw. Once upon a time, Jalen Redmond was a five-star high school recruit. Perhaps NFL coaches can find a way to recapture some of what made him such a highly recruited prospect.

    7.42 | Camren McDonald, TE

    The Texans own the last pick in the draft — Mr. Irrelevant — and Camren McDonald could be this year’s selection. He’s a solid blocker who could emerge into a situationally useful TE3.

    Listen to the PFN Scouting Podcast

    Listen to the PFN Scouting Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Scouting Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Scouting Podcast on our Scouting YouTube channel.

    Related Articles