Some don't need explanation and some might jog some good feelings when you see their names

The 11 best draft picks in Texans history

J.J. Watt
Zach Tarrant/Houstontexans.com

If you missed the 11 worst and feel like a glutton for punishment those can be found here.

Chester Pitts - 50th overall 2002

These days Chester Pitts might be seen on your TV or shaking hands to curry favor for his inevitable mayoral campaign but before all that he was one of the Texans earliest picks. He's also one of the more successful ones too. He still holds the Texans record for consecutive starts checking in at 114 straight.

Andre Johnson - 3rd overall - 2003

​This doesn't need much explanation.

DeMeco Ryans - 33rd overall - 2006

The best pick of the 2006 draft for the Texans. Ryans was a steadying force in the middle of the Texans defense for years. He's the Texans all-time leader in solo tackles and second all-time in franchise history in total tackles. Plus, he punked Jeremy Shockey not once, but twice in a Texans uniform so that's a thumbs up in my book.

Owen Daniels - 98th overall - 2006

I almost went with Eric Winston but I figured the tight end spot was more important than the right tackle spot. Daniels is third all-time in team history in receiving yards and touchdowns. He was one of the most important players on some of the best Texans teams and caught some of the biggest touchdowns in team history. All that for a fourth round pick is pretty darn good.

Duane Brown - 26th overall - 2008

​Duane Brown is probably the best offensive lineman to ever play for the Texans. He held down the left tackle spot for the team from almost the day he arrived. The ending was messy but the time he was here the Texans consistently had one of the better players at the left tackle spot. He was an anchor for the best seasons in Texans history.

Brian Cushing - 15th overall - 2009

Brian Cushing wasn't who I wanted or thought the Texans should take in 2009. I was hoping for Jeremy Maclin to pair with Andre Johnson. Cushing ended up being the right pick for the Texans. He played well alongside DeMeco Ryans and took over when Ryans departed for Philidelphia. He was the 2009 Rookie of the Year and a two-time All-Pro (2nd team). He is the franchise leader in tackles.

J.J. Watt - 11th overall - 2011

​The Texans almost traded up for Patrick Peterson. They wanted Aldon Smith. Thanks in large part to Wade Phillips they drafted one of the most dominant defensive players ever. Enough said.

Whitney Mercilus - 26th overall - 2012

He's the second-best pass rusher in team history. He is also an example of a guy blossoming a few years into his career as he got a second contract and paid it off with huge years 2015 and 2016.

DeAndre Hopkins - 27th overall - 2013

He's the best offensive player in team history.

Deshaun Watson - 12th overall - 2017

Sure, it cost a lot to move up and make it happen but the Texans finally secured what looks to be a dynamic and incredible quarterback. He's got so much room to improve too. It's scary how good he can be.

Justin Reid - 68th overall - 2018

I am prepared to defend this one but also take criticism for this selection as well. There are a lot of arguments for this final slot including Reid's 2018 teammate Andre Hal as well as D.J. Reader and even former Texans lineman Brandon Brooks. Reid put together one of the best seasons for a rookie the team has seen and he did it all with first round expectations despite being a third round selection.

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Have we arrived in the Golden Age of Houston sports? Composite Getty Image.

Houston has been blessed to see some good sports teams over the years. Luv Ya Blue Oilers, ketchup & mustard Rockets, Astros dynasty, even the Texans had a period in which they were playoff contenders every season for a few years. While there has been a lot of heartbreak, there's also been some satisfying moments. Despite what some may think, it hasn't been all doom and gloom.

The Rockets ('94 & '95) and Astros ('17 & '22) have both won titles. While the other teams haven't, they've provided enough moments and memories. The one thing I noticed that puzzled me: I don't think all these teams have been competitive and contenders at the same time. Not just that, but have they all been good moving forward? I don't think so.

The Astros could be towards the end of their run. The window can stay open if general manager Dana Brown makes the right moves. As seen in the tweet above, Joe Espada is over the moon about becoming the manager. The players and organization both wanted the move. It was a natural fit to promote him from bench coach to manager. He's been there since 2018 and in MLB coaching since 2006 (a year after he retired from AAA ball). At 48 years old, Espada is young enough to still be able to relate to his players, but experienced enough to teach and lead them.

The same can be said for the Rockets' Ime Udoka (46) and Texans' DeMeco Ryans (39). Both guys are former player who reached the highest professional level in their respective sports. Both were a coach's dream when they played because they were smart and played hard. Both took over teams that were terrible for a while and have been rebuilding. Now they're expected to start working towards contention.

When the Rockets were winning their titles, the Oilers were on their way out of town and the Astros were playoff contenders. When the Astros won their titles, the Rockets were trying to win one of their own in '17, but were the butt of jokes in '22. Meanwhile, the Texans were below .500 in each of those seasons. The 2018–19 seasons were the last time all three made the playoffs at the same time.

I believe we will be seeing a lot more seasons like that coming in the future. Each of these coaches have a presence about themselves. Their players love them and they're smart guys. They know how to get the best out of the teams they're on. They're all former players who can identify with the players of today because of their age and proximity from the game after their playing days were over.

Each team's fan base is excited about the potential. The Astros are the easiest ones to see succeed soon, since they just won a title last year and still have some major pieces coming back. The Texans are enjoying a resurgence under rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud. The Rockets have a little further to go, but the building blocks are in place. I wouldn't be surprised if we see all three teams in the playoffs as early as this current season, or the season coming in the Astros' case. Odds on who wins the next title will get very interesting over the next few years. Who do you think wins the next one? My money is on the team that has white in its colors.

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