Ranking Texans biggest NFL draft gems of the last decade

2023 NFL Draft - Rounds 2-3
2023 NFL Draft - Rounds 2-3 / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages
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2. Will Anderson Jr.

The Houston Texans were aggressive in the 2023 offseason and there's not better evidence of this than when they moved up to the third overall pick (despite owning the second overall pick) and selecting Alabama's Will Anderson Jr. The rookie's presence was immediately felt defensively, as he racked up 45 tackles, 22 QB hits, and seven sacks in 15 games.

Anderson was crowned Defensive Rookie of the Year for his efforts and Texans fans were thrilled to see this pass-rushing force pan out so quickly. Some might wonder why a third overall pick could be considered a draft gem but with the Texans giving up picks to acquire him, they had a lot banking on this and Anderson delivered.

1. C.J. Stroud

Maybe this feels too quick but it felt pretty hopeless at the quarterback position when the Texans traded Deshaun Watson. Fortunately, now fans don't have to be sad anymore, as second overall pick C.J. Stroud came in and made a huge impact right away.

The rookie out of Ohio State threw for 4,108 yards, 23 touchdowns, and five interceptions while rushing for three more scores in 15 starts. Stroud helped lead the Texans to not only an AFC South division title but a playoff win over the red-hot Cleveland Browns as well.

In the NFL, having a franchise quarterback is everything and it appears that the Texans have found theirs. Stroud was the second overall pick so some might say that he doesn't count as a draft gem but the fact that he's already proven to be worthy of that pick while number one overall selection Bryce Young struggled immensely, I'd say C.J. Stroud belongs in this conversation