Ranking Texans last 10 first-round draft picks

Jacksonville Jaguars v Houston Texans
Jacksonville Jaguars v Houston Texans / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages
3 of 5

6. Deshaun Watson (12th overall in 2017)

It was difficult figuring out where to rank Deshaun Watson on this list. When the Texans moved up to the 12th pick to snag Watson in 2017, the excitement was through the roof, especially when Watson looked the part of a franchise quarterback in limited action his rookie year.

While Watson led the Texans to the playoffs in 2018 and 2019 and put together solid numbers in 2020, the reason he's ranked so low is how his story ended in Houston. Watson was accused of sexual misconduct by dozens of women and also had wanted out of Houston during that time. He sat out of the 2021 season and then was traded to the Cleveland Browns in the 2022 offseason. In March 2022, a Harris County grand jury declined to charge him over the allegations of harassment and sexual misconduct.

Normally it'd take teams a long time to recover after trading away a "franchise quarterback" but Watson has proven not to be worth the hype since joining the Browns and the Texans have landed on their feet. More on that later.

5. Derek Stingley Jr. (3rd overall in 2022)

After a lackluster 2021 season, the Texans landed the third pick of the 2022 NFL Draft and took LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. After a bit of a rough start to his NFL career, Stingley bounced back with a strong 2023 season, finishing his second NFL season with an overall PFF grade of 81.8 and a coverage grade of 84.9.

Stingley is under contract for at least two more years (potentially three if the Texans pick up his fifth-year option) and he appears to be trending in the right direction. Let's hope he continues to play like the player we saw in 2023.