Houston Texans draft prospect: Travis Jones could revamp the D-line
One player the Houston Texans have to be keeping an eye on is Travis Jones.
If Travis Jones is available when the Houston Texans make their second-round choice — No. 37 overall — in the 2022 NFL Draft, he must be considered a choice to join the defense of Lovie Smith, even if the Texans take a defensive EDGE rusher in the first round.
There are others who also should be considered by the Houston Texans when they make their second-round pick, but a player who is said to have first-round talent, but could also be available in the second round as there are only 32 players selected in round one, is Travis Jones of UConn.
Peter King in his Football Morning in America column at NBC Sports this week quoted Daniel Jeremiah of the NFL Network speaking about how good of a player Jones is and how he’s a first-round talent following his performance at the Combine:
"“The overall depth of this class is outstanding. Here are two examples: In a normal year, UConn defensive tackle Travis Jones would have been the buzz of the defensive linemen after a great workout. [Minnesota defensive end] Boye Mafe, same thing. They are first-round talents, and they almost got lost in the shuffle of all the great players here.”"
If there is one thing the Texans have figured out this offseason it is they can’t have enough depth on their defensive line. Head coach Lovie Smith must know that too as he was the defensive coordinator for the Texans in ’21, so adding to the front line of the defense must be important, but the team also can’t forget about the issues with the secondary, either.
Houston Texans draft: Would Caserio draft two d-linemen in first two rounds?
If the Texans are able to pick Kayvon Thibodeaux with the third overall selection, adding a top defensive tackle from the 2022 NFL Draft isn’t out of the question. It is no secret the defense of the Texans needs rebuilt, and having a solid foundation with the defensive line would make a world of difference.
Jones at the Combine ran a 4.92 40-yard dash, and though he won’t be known for his sprinting ability when in the NFL, his 40-yard dash time will help in his pursuit of not only making the life of NFL quarterback miserable, but it will help with stopping the opposing ground attack.
Jones’ measurements at the Combine were 6’4″ and 325 pounds, while also having 34 1/4″ arms and 10 1/4″ hands. The 300-plus pound Jones also had a vertical jump of 28.5 inches and a 20-yard shuffle of 4.58.
Lance Zierlein of NFL.com says Jones’ NFL comparison is Johnathan Hankins and that he has the ability to become a “successful run plugger” in the NFL.
Jones is the type of defensive tackle that could be especially good alongside Ross Blacklock on the interior defensive line, and if the Texans can keep adding depth to their d-line with Lovie Smith overseeing the rebuild in that area, good things are sure to come for the Texans franchise.
Now the only questions that remain are if available would general manager Nick Caserio take a defensive tackle in the second round, and if so, will Jones even still be on the board when the 37th overall pick arrives?
This is an exciting time to be a Houston Texans fan as the better players the franchise drafts, the better the team eventually will become.