The Texans address key needs in multiple ways with this draft

Texans 7-round mock draft

The Texans have seven picks in the upcoming draft as it stands right now. The way I approached this is rankings to assess how likely these players are available where the Texans pick, guesses on what some other teams would do, and my runs through a couple of mock draft simulators. I also weighed anything I have heard myself about various picks/players a little heavier than rumors.

First Round - 23rd Overall - Andre Dillard OT Washington State

I have been pushing Dillard for the Texans for a while now. They need some help for him or Oklahoma's Cody Ford to get here. The lust for quarterbacks helps them in this quest. Teams will likely be moving up for the three or four quarterbacks so that helps push offensive linemen down the board. Any pass rusher, tight end, or wideout helps the Texans get to this point. If there is no Dillard or Ford, a trade back a few spots with Dalton Riser from Kansas State and Kaleb McGary from Washington as the targets.

Second Round - 54th Overall - Julian Love CB Notre Dame

This guy feels like a Texans style of cornerback. He had a ton of impact at Notre Dame and the Irish defense fell apart without him in the college football playoff. He feels a little like a Johnathan Joseph in that his physical ability isn't going to blow you away but you trust the smarts and intelligence to get him near the ball. One NFL comparison for him was Ronde Barber. Love isn't the top corner on anyone's board, but he should be available for the Texans.

Second Round - 55th Overall - Tytus Howard OT Alabama State

I was tempted to put Texas A&M's Erik McCoy here but ultimately adding Howard as the team's swing tackle and future right tackle is too attractive to pass up. Likely an "overdraft" but there should be other tackles coming off the board forcing the Texans into this spot. This pick is hard to peg because it is unknown how the Texans are stacking the tackle board. I would guess tackle is a safe bet and if not tackle perhaps another spot on the offensive line.

Third Round - 86th Overall - Darrell Henderson RB Memphis

The Texans have checked in on Henderson a couple of times. He's a home run hitter and was amazing for Memphis this past season. He would push D'Onta Foreman and would take over for Lamar Miller at the end of the season. There could be other positions addressed but they could be reaches at this spot. Why not help solidify a position that has lacked talent recently.

Fifth Round - 161 Overall - Kingsley Keke DL Texas A&M

It seems likely Keke would be here but regardless of he is or not the Texans should shoot for another late-round defensive lineman success a la D.J. Reader. Maybe a safety here as well but let's look for the replacement for Christian Covington.

Sixth Round - 195th Overall - Ryan Bates OG Penn State

You know how much the Texans love versatility. Well, how about a former college tackle who will likely play guard and maybe center in the NFL? You can do a lot worse than someone to push the current offensive line at this spot.

Seventh Round - 220 Overall - Xavier Crawford CB Central Michigan

He might not be here in the seventh round as I have seen him as high as a fifth rounder but if he is, snatch him up. He was a standout on the worst team in college football. Literally one of the few bright spots. He would add some solid competition to the cornerback room.

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DeMeco values leadership at the QB position above all else. Composite image by Brandon Strange.

With the NFL Draft getting closer and closer, it is becoming more likely the Houston Texans will be taking a quarterback with its No. 2 overall pick.

With a plethora of options available — from Bryce Young, CJ Stroud, Will Levis or Anthony Richardson — head coach DeMeco Ryans recently talked about what quality he believes a quarterback should have in the NFL. It is leadership.

“Is that quarterback a guy who can galvanize a locker room and rally the troops and get guys to believe in him,” Ryans said. “That's the trait. It's easier said than done because only so few guys can do that.”

While it may be cliché, Ryans makes a great point about why leadership is a non-negotiable for his play caller.

The quarterback position is the face of the franchise. He is the person media talk to every single week, and is the person who gets a huge share of the credit or blame when it comes to the team’s success or lack thereof.

Whoever the Texans pick at No. 2, if it indeed is a quarterback, will also be tasked with leading Houston throughout its rebuild on the field. But how can the team’s staff evaluate leadership?

As advanced as stats have gotten over the years, there is nothing you can look at to quantify leadership points. It all depends on personal evaluation.

For Houston, the decision on whom the next quarterback for the team is, could well be made over the course of the next few days.

The Texans will bring both Young and Stroud to Houston for individual meetings, according to Aaron Wilson. Both have consistently been quarterback No. 1 and No. 2 throughout the entire process.

There is no doubt Ryans and general manager Nick Caserio will be trying to gauge where each respective prospect ranks in leadership when they step foot in NRG Stadium.

Ryans believes the franchise quarterback needs to be seen by his teammates both on offense and defense and instill confidence in them that he can be counted on to make a play. Hosting prospects is one way to get a gauge in that area, which the Texans will have the opportunity to do.

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