Drew Sanders, LB Arkansas
The 6’5, 240-pound former five-star defensive lineman transferred from Alabama to Arkansas so he could play more. This past season Sanders experimented as an inside linebacker, as well as an edge defender hybrid player, and man oh man did he excel there.
He finished the year as the unquestioned leader of the Razorbacks' defense, racking up 103 tackles, 9.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, and an interception. He has elite closing speed and is an advanced pass rusher who could sub in as an edge for third downs. His talents and frame offer a very high ceiling with plenty of room to grow as a linebacker who is still learning the position.
I'm not quite sure the Texans will draft a linebacker high, as they've already invested a third-round pick in Christian Harris last year, as well as bringing in Denzel Perryman and Corey Littleton this offseason. That being said, Sanders is a similar skill set to Micah Parsons. He's not the same player or the same talent, but the same way Parsons was used by the Cowboys is the same way that Arkansas used Sanders.
The Texans have a history of drafting SEC leaders high in the draft, but I also wonder if DeMeco Ryans' background developing linebackers could lead him to salivate over the potential here. Sanders would make an immediate impact as a three-down linebacker, operating in Downs one and two as a run defender and an absolute hammer in the middle, while being an edge pass-rushing specialist on third downs. Sanders can blitz from any of the spots on the line as well, which allows you to create a ton of chaos.
This is the selection I'm most wary of assuming the Texans will make because there aren't any direct links to him outside of Lance Zierlein, who routinely does mocks based on what he thinks the teams will do, mocking Sanders to the Texans back in February.