NFL DRAFT

3 prospects the Houston Texans must consider with pick No. 67

The Texans are set to make their 1st selection in the 3rd round. Composite image by Jack Brame.

The Houston Texans arguably have the worst draft capital heading into the 2021 NFL Draft. Their first selection will come in the third round as a result of acquiring Laremy Tunsil in 2019. Although the team will be missing out on the top-66 prospects, the Texans still have an opportunity to draft a foundational player at pick No. 67.

The first round of the NFL Draft is set to begin Thursday night at 7:00 CT on ESPN, the NFL Network and ABC. Here are three prospects the Texans should consider with their top pick in this year's draft.

1) Kyle Trask, QB, Florida

The unpopular opinion surrounding the Texans heading into this year's draft is whether they should select a quarterback with their first pick. Houston has a bevy of holes on the roster — mainly on the defensive side of the ball. But the uncertainty surrounding Deshaun Watson has left the Texans' quarterback situation in a snafu state.

Should Watson's legal troubles sideline him for all the 2021 season, there is a chance the Texans will hold on to their disgruntled QB in hopes of rebuilding his trade value. The acquisitions of Tyrod Taylor and Ryan Finley have given the Texans a short-term answer under center for next season. But what about the long-term plans? If Kyle Trask is still on the board at pick No. 67, the Texans should add the Florida quarterback to their roster.

Is Trask on the level of Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields or Zack Wilson? No. But he has the upside to develop into a solid starting NFL quarterback — something the Texans will be seeking beyond the 2021 season.

One of Trask's most valued attributes is his size. At 6-foot-5, Trask has the ideal built for a QB — one who can see over defenders when observing play downfield. While throwing for 7,386 yards and 69 touchdowns, Trask established himself as an intelligent decision-maker in the pocket with the ability to take care of the ball. The Houston native only committed 15 interceptions during his collegiate career at Florida.

Trask's erratic mechanics as a passer is one of the main reasons he may fall to the third round. But the chance to develop alongside QB coach Pep Hamilton would give Trask an opportunity to translate his college success to the NFL.

Other prospects to consider at this position: Kellen Mond and Davis Mills

2) Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford

The primary defensive goal for the Texans in 2021 is to create turnovers. The Texans finished last in the league in turnovers, with a franchise-low nine in 2020. A part of Houston's lack of turnovers came from its secondary, which recorded only three interceptions. To improve their secondary, the Texans need to target a prospect with the knack to find the ball. And Stanford's Paulson Adebo would be a logical selection.

Adebo's top skill set as a defensive back is his hands. He is a former high school wideout who uses his experience as a receiver to track the ball once in the air, which often leads to a pass deflection or interception. Despite appearing in 22 games in four years, Adebo recorded 34 deflections and eight interceptions at Stanford. Amid receiving First Team All-Pac 12 honors in 2018, Adebo led the conference in interceptions with four.

In addition to his talents to make plays on the ball, Adebo is a physical defensive back whose size (6-foot-1) would be invaluable when matchup up with the opposing team's bigger receivers. He is one of the most underrated corners in this year's draft. If not for opting out of the 2020 season, Adebo's draft stock would have been higher.

Other prospects to consider at this position: Aaron Robinson and Robert Rochell

3) Dayo Odeyingbo, EDGE, Vanderbilt

The Texans need a significant upgrade to their defensive front — especially following the departure of J.J. Watt. It will take more than one player to replace Watt's Hall-of-Fame contributions. But edge rusher Dayo Odeyingbo from Vanderbilt would help with the Texans' transition out of the Watt era.

At 6-foot-5, 285lbs, Odeyingbo can use his athletic physique to rush pass blockers to create havoc in the opposing team's backfield. His most supreme talent is his ability to get after the quarterback. Odeyingbo finished his career with the Commodores, recording a total of 12.0 sacks in three seasons. During his final season, Odeyingbo posted a pass-rush grade of 77.8, according to Pro Football Focus.

Other prospects to consider at this position: Payton Tuner and Robert Rochell

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It more of the same from the Houston Texans. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

Sunday afternoon provided a high-res snapshot of the state of Houston sports. The Astros, already assured of the best record in the American League, played a game they didn’t need to win. The Astros won, ho-hum, their 104th win of the season.

Meanwhile, eight miles away, the Texans, mired in last place with fan support dwindling, played a game they really needed to win. The Texans lost 34-24 to the Los Angeles Chargers in front of (giggle) 69,071 fans at NRG Stadium. The Texans really ought to stop saying the stands are packed. Every time a team punts, and cameras follow the ball skyward, there are thousands of empty seats on display. I know the NFL methodology for determining attendance, (total tickets sold, no-shows don’t count) but it just looks silly when the Texans announce 69,000 fans.

The Texans came close as usual before sputtering to another defeat. The Texans now stand at 0-3-1, the only winless team in the NFL. It’s the second time in three years they’ve started a season without a victory after four games. It’s telling to note that not one of the Texans opponents has a winning record for 2022.

In other words, the Texans have played four games they shoulda/coulda won. Shouda against the Colts, Broncos and Bears, and coulda against the Chargers.

Should/coulda four wins. Instead, none.

That’s the Texans. They’re in every game but can’t close the deal. Yeah, yeah, on Monday we hear, “the Texans are playing hard for coach Lovie Smith” and “they’re competitive” and “they’re a young team.” These are NFL equivalents of a participation trophy.

Sunday’s loss to the Chargers at NRG Stadium was straight out of the Texans playbook. Fall behind, make it interesting, lose. The Texans stuck to their script, timid play calling, momentum-crushing penalties (nine for 67 yards), self-inflicted drops, lackluster quarterbacking and Rex Burkhead on the field for crunch time. After one play where a Texan player was called for holding, the announcer said, “and he did a poor job of holding.”

Statuesque quarterback David Mills keeps saying “we’re in a good spot” and “we’re improving.” Statuesque as in he doesn’t move – or barely moves to avoid sacks. Sunday saw his first touchdown pass to a wide receiver. He’s now thrown four interceptions in the past two games. Let’s go to the tote board: 5 touchdowns, 4 interceptions, 4 fumbles, 11 sacks, qbr rating 28.5 – good for 28th in the league.

A bright spot, sort of. This was the first week the Texans didn’t cover the spread. They’re now 1-2-1 against Vegas oddsmakers, meaning you’ve won money if you took the Texans all four weeks. They head to Jacksonville next as early 6.5-point underdogs.

Meanwhile, Alabama’s brilliant quarterback Bryce Young, who will be available for the Texans when they draft first in 2023 (as Paul Heyman says, that’s not a prediction, that’s a spoiler), suffered a shoulder injury last Saturday. The Texans need to take out a Lloyds of London insurance policy on Young.

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