1. J.J. Watt has great company in “greatest ever” conversation
There have been first-round picks in Houston Texans history that haven’t been mentioned yet, and they are David Carr (’02), Andre Johnson (’03), Duane Brown (’08), DeAndre Hopkins (’13), Will Fuller (’16), Deshaun Watson (’17) and Tytus Howard (’19).
No offense to Carr, Fuller and Howard, but that will be their final mention, because now it is time to talk about the very best first-round picks in Texans history and why Watt is at the top of the list.
Andre Johnson — the ’03 third overall pick — at one time was the greatest Houston Texans player ever, and he is still the greatest Texans offensive player to ever wear their uniform. In 12 seasons with the Texans, Johnson finished with 1,012 receptions for 13,597 yards with 64 touchdowns.
Jonson’s résumé speaks for itself, as he’s the only player in the Texans Ring of Honor, and he’s now eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, to which he should be inducted to sooner rather than later.
In ’13, the Texans drafted another great wide receiver, that being DeAndre Hopkins with the 27th pick out of Clemson. Hopkins was the second greatest wide receiver to ever play for the Texans, collecting 632 receptions for 8,602 yards and 54 touchdowns in those seven seasons.
If his time were not cut short, as he was traded after seven seasons, even greater things would have been achieved by the Texans with Hopkins.
Then there is ’17 first-round pick Deshaun Watson, who was the 12th overall selection and just the second quarterback picked in the first round by the franchise. There is no doubt that Watson is the greatest quarterback in franchise history, but after just four seasons in Houston, his time is most likely coming to an end as well.
Watson has asked to be traded from the only franchise he’s played for, and though it will probably happen at some point this offseason, that doesn’t take away all that Watson has achieved with the Texans.
Like Watt, Watson has been a part of the past two AFC South championships, and like Watt, Watson became a face of the franchise in a short period of time. Watson just had his best season as a professional quarterback as he was the NFL passing leader, and he set the single-season touchdown pass record for the Texans as well.
As great as Watson, Johnson and even 2008 first-round pick Duane Brown (the greatest OT in franchise history) are, none of them have made the same impact as J.J. Watt has with the Houston Texans.
If there was a Mount Rushmore of first-round picks for the Houston Texans, those four faces — Watt, Watson, Brown and Johnson — would be etched into the monument, and there wouldn’t be much to debate.
But when picking “the greatest” and “the most important” Houston Texans first-round pick, that honor must go to J.J. Watt for everything that he achieved with the franchise over the past decade as the face of the franchise.