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
The Houston Astros were in need of some serious help in the bullpen with Phil Maton, Hector Neris, and Ryne Stanek likely leaving this year in free agency.
The Houston Astros have acquired RHP Dylan Coleman from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for RHP Carlos Mateo. pic.twitter.com/hDYuBLn2Kv
— Houston Astros (@astros) December 6, 2023
While some fans were getting concerned about the quiet offseason, the club has made two moves this week to get the ball rolling.
First the team signed Victor Caratini to be the backup catcher, and now they have added some relief pitching.
The Astros traded pitching prospect Carlos Mateo to the Royals for RHP pitcher Dylan Coleman.
Coleman appeared in 96 games in the past three seasons for KC, including 68 games in 2022 and 23 games last season. He has a career 3.88 ERA and 1.37 WHIP. He’s fastball (95 mph), slider (81) and cutter (90) and walked 57 batters and struck out 99 in 92 2/3 innings.
— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) December 6, 2023
Coleman is under club control for the next several years, and made just over $700,000 in 2022. With the Astros right up against the tax threshold, this is a good way to add to the bullpen without having to hand out a large contract.
The Royals had a tough roster decision to make with Coleman, and the Astros made the decision easy for them by making the trade.
Something to note
There's a reason Kansas City wasn't determined to protect Coleman from the Rule 5 Draft. Despite his decent numbers over the last three seasons, 2023 was a rough year for him, posting an 8.84 ERA over 23 games.
In fact, Coleman pitched more innings (30.2) for the Royals AAA team than he did for the big league club (18.1) in 2023.
Hopefully, the Astros can get him back on track this season with some help from their highly touted player development program.
You can watch some of his 2022 highlights above.