After being involved in trade talks all year long, the Houston Texans are most likely done with those before the 2022 NFL Draft begins.
However, there is one scenario that is still looming that hasn’t been getting a lot of discussion. When the New Orleans Saints traded with the Eagles to get two first-round picks this year, it made a handful of fans asking, “why?”
Whether New Orleans’ championship window remains open or not is outside of this article’s scope. But what’s known for sure is that the Saints need a quarterback, and the Houston Texans could strike a deal to help them get one.
Using Pro Football Focus’ mock draft tool, I set out to do this. Here’s how the draft played out:
Houston Texans can’t skimp on building the offensive line
Whether you’re an Evan Neal or Ikem Ekwonu kind of person, the fact is that Houston’s offensive line was abysmal last season. Neal can play any position on the offensive line, as he played multiple positions during his time at Alabama.
Neal may be best at the left tackle spot, but let’s not get into saying that getting an offensive lineman would be a waste of a pick. That’s absurd.
The computer took over after this until Houston was set to pick again at 13. I began to offer up a trade for the Saints to move up, and here’s what was accepted:
Houston basically moves back three spots and picks up another first-round pick, and a second-round swap in 2023 makes this a win-win for both teams. As for who New Orleans selected, Liberty’s Malik Willis became the first quarterback off the board.
As for the Houston Texans’ final two selections of the first round:
Davis Mills needs every chance to succeed that he can get and was the top receiver on the board at that time. Treylon Burks was also considered here, but Williams has the speed and skills to torch man coverage. With guys like Stephon Gilmore signing with the Colts, Williams is the guy at number 16.
Yes, the Texans’ linebacking corps is returning once again in 2022, but the three main starters are all on short contracts. That’s where Nakobe Dean enters the picture. Finally, Lovie Smith gets his brainiac player at the position (Dean is a Mechanical Engineering major) who possesses the ability reminiscent of Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs from the early 2000s Chicago Bears.
This would be one way for Houston to maximize the top talent that they can get early on, and with plenty of picks later in the draft, the Texans will have a solid foundation to build upon heading into the 2022 season.