Houston Texans: An early look ahead at the 2020 NFL Draft

NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 25: General view prior to the start of the first round of the NFL Draft on April 25, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 25: General view prior to the start of the first round of the NFL Draft on April 25, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The Houston Texans are going to need to be spot on in their selections for the 2020 NFL draft, as they only have five chances to make the right choice.

Much will happen between now and the arrival of the 2020 NFL Draft for the Houston Texans and the rest of the NFL. At this point of the offseason for the Texans, the sting of losing in the Divisional Round of the AFC Playoffs after having a 24-point lead in the first half continues to hurt, but the franchise must move forward.

There won’t be any head coaching changes for the Texans this offseason as Bill O’Brien is still who the ownership of the Texans want to lead the team, not only on the field, but he’s also one of the people in the franchise making all the important decisions, too. The Texans did make some changes to the coaching staff as Romeo Crennel is out as defensive coordinator, and taking his spot is Anthony Weaver.

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Yes, the Texans went 10-6 in the regular season and won the AFC South championship for a second straight year, and many teams in the NFL would love to be that successful. The Texans should want more than that, as they have the talent to do so, but as an entire franchise from top to bottom, all of the stars have yet to align.

Take, for instance, the Texans have first-team All-Pro DeAndre Hopkins on the roster, plus that same player is on an offense with Will Fuller, Kenny Stills, Carlos Hyde, Duke Johnson and quarterback Deshaun Watson.

That is a solid group of players, but they need more apparently because this team was terrible in first-quarter scoring for most of the season, and the same unity basically disappeared after the first quarter ended in Kansas City in the Divisional Round game.

That type of collapse by the Texans makes the 2020 NFL Draft of the Texans that much more important, stressful and exciting because as of mid-January, the Texans have only five draft choices in front of them, including one pick combined in the first three rounds.

The Texans’ first pick this year is in the second round because the franchise traded their ’20 and ’21 first-round choices to the Miami Dolphins this past offseason for Laremy Tunsil, Stills and two  draft picks (fourth round in ’20, sixth round in ’21). Also the Texans traded a sixth-round pick to the New England Patriots for cornerback Keion Crossen.

To make things easier, the Texans have a second-round pick, plus two fourth-rounders, a fifth-round choice and a seventh-round pick when the draft arrives. Plus the Texans should get three compensatory picks from the NFL as well.

Now the question is what are the team needs for the Texans this offseason?

According to Chris Trapasso of CBSSports.com three of the biggest team needs for the Texans are at edge rusher, cornerback and running back.

If the Texans are smart in the second round and wait for their pick to fall to them, they will draft the best edge rusher available at the time. The way the Texans’ defense looked after allowing seven straight scoring drives to the Chiefs in the playoffs, something needs fixed this offseason.

Besides Chase Young of Ohio State being the very best edge rusher going into this draft — and he’s projected to be the No. 2 overall pick — there is K’Lavon Chaisson of LSU, who Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com has ranked 24th overall. Other edge rushers on Jeremiah’s Top 50 list are A.J. Epenesa (Iowa, 28th), Marlon Davidson (Auburn, 30th), Bradlee Anae (Utah, 48th) and Terrell Lewis (Alabama, 49th).

Those are just some of the names being talked about in this very early draft process. There is still the Senior Bowl to take into account this weekend, followed by the NFL Combine next month, various Pro Days and then the actual draft.

Next. Texans shaking up front office and coaching staff. dark

Which players do you want the Texans to show interest in this offseason as the preparations for the draft begin?