Houston Texans 2017 NFL Draft Review

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PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 27: Deshaun Watson from Clemson with his mother Deann and aunt Sonia on the Red Carpet outside of the NFL Draft Theater on April 27, 2017 in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

While no one has actually said anything in the Texans front office, it feels like, general manager, Rick Smith and, head coach, Bill O’Brien came into this draft on the hot seat. After years of mediocre-at-best offenses and the embarassing Brock Osweiller experiment, the Texans needed to make a difference. Houston remained rather quiet during the free agency period, seemingly focused on improving through the Draft. Here’s who they selected:

1st Round, 12th Overall (Trade with Browns): QB Deshaun Watson (Clemson)

2nd Round, 57th Overall: LB Zach Cunningham (Vanderbilt)

3rd Round, 89th Overall: RB D’Onta Foreman (Texas)

4th Round, 130th Overall: OT Julie’n Davenport (Bucknell)

4th Round, 142nd Overall (Compensatory): DT Carlos Watkins (Clemson)

5th Round, 169th Overall: S Treston Decoud (Oregon State)

6th Round, 243rd Overall: C Kyle Fuller (Baylor)

Texans 2017 Draft Grade: 9/10

Houston Texans 2017 NFL Draft Review

The Best Player: Deshaun Watson 

No question here, it’s Deshaun Watson. Quarterback was the very obvious need for the Texans and, of all the quarterbacks in this draft, Watson seems like the best choice for Houston. No disrespect to the other quarterbacks but, Deshaun Watson won 32 of his 35 games during his college career and is coming off of a National Championship winning season. The young quarterback went toe-to-toe with the “college football giants”, the Alabama Crimson Tide, and defeated them in a convincing comeback.

The Head-Scratcher: Kyle Fuller

It may be a seventh round pick but, Fuller wasn’t the best ranked offensive lineman available in the seventh round. If Houston was just wanting to take a local player, Aviante Collins, out of TCU, was available. Even if Houston was just wanting a center here, Jon Toth seems like a better fit.

The Surprise: D’Onta Foreman

Foreman is the surprise pick here. Foreman is one of the rare big-bodied running backs that is surprisingly fast. With all of the good corners still available in the third round, it was expected that the Texans to pick one of them, not a running back. This is still a good pick, just an unexpected one.

The Steal: Carlos Watkins

Watkins seems like the steal here. Watkins was a force for the, National Champion, Clemson Tigers that many expected to go in the third round. Watkins adds depth to the Texans defensive line rotation. Watkins will join his Clemson brother, D.J. Reader and hope to fill the vacancy left by Vince Wilfork‘s retirement.

Most Likely to Turn Heads in Training Camp: Treston Decoud

Safety Treston Decoud feels like the most likely to turn heads here. Obviously, Deshaun Watson could turn some heads but, the defensive secondary is another place of opportunity for a young player to shine. Decoud is an aggressive, physical player who should have some success moving into a safety position.

Bottom Line:

It’s unclear if Decoud is meant to be the replacement for A.J. Bouye, but he seems like more of a safety than a corner. The Julie’n Davenport pick is hopeful for an upgrade at the tackle position in the next year or so. The Texans seemed to have addressed every need in this draft other than corner. The first round trade for Deshaun Watson will inevitibly be the deciding factor in this draft. If Watson can come in this year or next year and become the franchise quarterback, this will have been a success for Houston.

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