Texans land Kyle Pitts and more in 2021 NFL Mock Draft with a twist
By Brian Emory
It is Monday, which means it is time for another mock draft! My original intent was to solely stick to the picks the Houston Texans currently holds because I still had some lingering hope that the team would be able to retain Deshaun Watson.
Unfortunately for fans of the Houston Texans, that just doesn’t seem likely. Watson has officially requested a trade, and it doesn’t feel like there is any scenario where he suits up for Houston again next year.
In this rendition of the 2021 Texans mock draft, Houston is sending Deshaun Watson to the New York Jets in return for the #2 selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, New York’s first round selections in 2022 and 2023, quarterback Sam Darnold, and defensive lineman Quinnen Williams.
While this is a king’s ransom being surrendered by the Jets, after seeing what the Lions just got in return for 33-year-old Matthew Stafford it is not unfathomable that Watson’s return could look something like this.
What are Texans trade options for Deshaun Watson?
While the popular idea would be to draft Watson’s replacement with the second overall choice, I am going with a different approach. Of course, I understand that if a trade like this went down the Texans would most likely choose the pick on a quarterback. However, if I were in Nick Caserio’s shoes I would be awfully tempted to pursue a different course of action.
Sure, Sam Darnold had some rough moments in New York. But in my opinion, he was a victim of horrific coaching and a poor supporting cast around him. I truly do not think he’s gotten a fair shake at being an NFL quarterback yet.
I was an enormous fan of Darnold out of USC. He has a very impressive arm with a playmaking mentality that allows him to create out of structure. These features of his game haven’t vanished, and he hasn’t suffered any injuries that should jeopardize his gifted physical arsenal. Perhaps Houston could be the fresh start that he needs.
Houston should give Darnold a chance to prove that he can become the guy over the long term. If he doesn’t pass the test, then the team will still have a boatload of assets to find their next franchise quarterback in a future draft.
So in this mock draft, we aren’t addressing the quarterback position because we are planning on rolling into 2021 with Sam Darnold being the starter.
The trades aren’t necessarily done with Watson being sent to New York. In order to accumulate more draft capital, we are trading the second overall pick to the San Francisco 49ers for the #12 and #44 selections in the 2021 draft as well as receiving their first round selection in 2022. That would be three first round picks for Houston in 2022.
Quick disclaimer: to conduct this mock draft I used the big board and mock draft simulator built by Pro Football Focus.