The 2023 offseason was crucial for a Houston Texans team looking to rebuild and return to prominence. How many 2023 NFL Draft picks did the Texans have to work with as they looked to kick-start their rebuild?
Houston Texans Draft Picks by Round in 2023
- Round 1, Pick 2
C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
- Round 1. Pick 3 (from ARI)
Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama
- Round 2, Pick 62 (From PHI)
Juice Scruggs, C, Penn State
- Round 3, Pick 69 (From LAR)
Nathaniel Dell, WR, Houston
- Round 4, Pick 109 (from LV)
Dylan Horton, EDGE, TCU
- Round 5, Pick 167 (from LAR)
Henry To’oTo’o, LB, Alabama
- Round 6, Pick 201 (from MIN)
Jarrett Patterson, C, Notre Dame
- Round 6, Pick 205 (from BUF)
Xavier Hutchinson, WR, Iowa State
- Round 7, Pick 248 (from PHI)
Brandon Hill, S, Pittsburgh
How Many Draft Picks Did the Texans Have Entering the 2023 NFL Draft?
The Texans had nine draft selections in the 2023 NFL Draft. They had all the ammunition they needed to add another game-changing rookie class. The 2022 cohort brought high-level playmakers like Jalen Pitre, Derek Stingley Jr., and Dameon Pierce.
Houston’s original sixth-round selection was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for offensive guard Shaq Mason, but the Texans were able to get a seventh-round pick back in the swap.
The Texans forfeited their original fifth-round selection in the 2023 NFL Draft and were fined $175,000 for a salary cap reporting violation. However, they added an additional fifth-rounder from the Dallas Cowboys in exchange for WR Brandin Cooks.
Those late-round picks gave the Texans an opportunity to add coveted roster depth and strike gold late in the 2023 NFL Draft. But the team’s selections in the early rounds were most important. Luckily, Houston was well-stocked there as well.
Houston had the second overall pick in the draft. With that pick, they chose Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud.
On top of the second selection, the Texans also traded up to No. 3 to draft Alabama EDGE Will Anderson Jr.
All told, the Texans had four selections within the top 105 picks. They had two in Round 1, one in Round 2, and one in Round 3. That allotment of picks allowed the Texans to add a franchise QB and insulate the core of talent around him.
Who Did the Texans Draft in 2023?
Arguably the two best prospects in this class were Stroud and Anderson, and their abilities justify their reputation. Stroud is an exceptional pocket passer who excels at analyzing pre-snap information and delivering precise passes to all areas of the field. With further development of his playmaking skills, he has the potential to become a star player for the Texans.
On the defensive side, Anderson has the potential to be a cornerstone player. He’s an impressive pass rusher, utilizing both speed and technique, and is projected to be a Pro Bowl-level contributor. His skill set and tools made him a dominant presence from the very beginning of his time at Alabama.
Additionally, the Texans had a significant gap at the center position, which is why they chose Penn State’s Juice Scruggs in Round 2. Scruggs has played all along the interior line, but his skill set is best suited for zone-blocking center. He’s an ideal fit for Houston’s new running game.
As for the rest of their draft picks, they focused on finding players that could fill specific roles. One of the most intriguing and electrifying athletes that they selected was the local receiver known as “Tank” Dell.
Dylan Horton and Henry To’oTo’o, who were chosen as mid-round picks, will compete for a spot on the team’s rotation. Horton is a sizable edge rusher who can play either the strong-side end position in 4-3 or 3-4 fronts. Although he has good athleticism, he’s not exceptionally dynamic, so there is limited potential for him to become more than a dependable player.
To’oTo’o is less physically gifted than Horton, but he can still be valuable. Houston made a wise decision not to spend too much on someone who isn’t a standout athlete, but that doesn’t mean To’oTo’o can’t perform well as a reliable run-stopper and a two-down player.
The last three picks in the draft are viewed as developmental players who can improve the team’s depth. Jarrett Patterson from Notre Dame was an outstanding player in college, but he’s undersized and lacks strength on the field. Neither Xavier Hutchinson nor Brandon Hill has an easy path to earning playing time in the early stages of their careers, but they can strive to become contributors on special teams as they develop.
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