2. Houston Texans 2023 NFL Draft dream target at No. 2: Will Anderson Jr.
If the Texans don't feel good about taking Jalen Carter, there will be other defensive prospects they can pick with the second overall pick, including Alabama defensive end Will Anderson Jr., who should be available at No. 2, unless the Carolina Panthers call dibs on him with the top overall selection, which is unlikely.
Jerry Hughes and Jonathan Greenard are currently the top two defensive ends on the Houston depth chart. The former logged nine sacks last year and the latter is coming off a season hampered by injuries but he registered eight quarterback takedowns in 2021, so there's a chance he'll bounce back in 2023. Although Hughes and Greenard are solid players, Anderson would give a boost to their pass-rush rotation.
Anderson played multiple roles across the Crimson Tide defensive line and rush the passer with his hand on the ground and from a standup position. Furthermore, he's got superb recognition skills and the physical tools to develop into a fine pass-rusher in the NFL. At 6'3" and 253 pounds, he's got the power to take on blocks and beat offensive linemen.
While the two-time All-American needs to develop a more expansive pass-rush repertoire and may need to gain weight to withstand the rigors of the NFL, Keith Sanchez of The Draft Network argues that he "plays with the passion and intensity wanted from a high draft pick". That sounds like the kind of player that could have the Texans.