The Houston Texans are taking too many chances on past draft busts

The Houston Texans are trying to rebuild too many careers when they need to focus on guys with actual floors.

Jacksonville Jaguars v Houston Texans
Jacksonville Jaguars v Houston Texans / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

The Houston Texans have signed yet another first-round bust with the intention of rebuilding them into a key asset of the team's defense. The team signed C.J. Henderson who will now be on his third team in five seasons. The former 9th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft has already had stints with the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Carolina Panthers, having been traded after just a season and a half.

The Jaguars got back a third-round draft pick for the then-second-year corner, as well as tight end Dan Arnold, in exchange for Henderson and a fifth-round draft pick. A dramatic falloff of value for a player still on a rookie deal.

Henderson never looked good in his first four years, posting a Pro Football Focus grade of 57.9 in 2020, 50.7 in 2021, 52.9 in 2022, and a 45.4 in 2023. He's not a good player, and while it's one thing to sign a guy like Derek Barnett, who may just need a change of scenery, the Texans are becoming too invested in other team's failings.

Henderson is just the latest, but the team also signed Barnett last season, and this offseason also signed former first-round pick Jeff Okudah. Okudah, like Henderson, was a 2020 first-round pick. Okudah was selected six spots higher in the same draft, going to the Detroit Lions at third overall. Okudah flamed out and was sent to the Atlanta Falcons for a fifth-round pick.

And much like Henderson, Okudah was not retained by his second team either. Now, both former 2020 top-10 picks are with the Texans, and the team is hoping to get the most out of them the same way they did with Barnett.

The problem is, that trying to build a winner around failed draft picks is now a way to build a winner. Yes, the team struck gold with Barnett, but trying to duplicate that success with these two corners is beyond risky and unlikely to bear the same kind of fruit. What's worse is that there seem to be some who think the Texans may or should go after another failed pick from the 2020 draft; Mekhi Becton.

The Texans have certainly missed big names this offseason, but the answer isn't to go after players who aren't good but have name value, it's to look for guys who could be huge for them, like former New England Patriots corner/defensive back Myles Bryant.

Bryant is a great signing and came to the Texans after the Patriots opted not to retain him following a career year. Bryant may not be an All-Pro caliber player, but he's improved over his three years in the NFL and it's likely he'll continue to improve. That's the type of signings the Texans should be making, not failed first-round picks who have name value.