Last week, the Houston Texans dismissed Head Coach and General Manager Bill O’Brien after seven seasons. Cal McNair, the franchise’s CEO will have to find new decision makers for the team this offseason. Until then, let’s have some fun. Using The Draft Network‘s mock draft simulator, I ran a seven round draft for the Houston Texans. It’s still early, and anything can happen, but much like the Texans’ motto for the remainder of the season, let’s have some FUN!
Tyler Shelvin, IDL, LSU
Third Round – Pick 71
Through four weeks, the Houston Texans rank last in rushing yards allowed at 181.8 per game. While the defense might be better down the stretch with Bill O’Brien out of the building, it still remains a concern.
Houston is without a first or second round pick in this draft, thanks in part to former HC/GM Bill O’Brien, who was fired last week. Barring a trade, this third round pick will be Texans’ first opportunity to address their draft needs in this mock draft.
Tyler Shelvin is a solid interior defensive lineman. This season, Shelvin opted out of the 2020 season, which was already considered to be a down year for LSU. In the trenches, Shelvin often faces double teams, but remains engaged on the quarterback. As a run defender, Shelvin is a ballhawk that tracks the ballcarrier well through traffic.
Tyler Vrabel, OT, Boston College
Fourth Round – Pick 102
Protect quarterback Deshaun Watson – that’s the objective here. Tyler Vrabel is the son of Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel. Taking things a step farther, Mike Vrabel was the linebackers and defensive coordinator in Houston before he got the job in Tennessee.
Tyler Vrabel is the left tackle for the Boston College Eagles. He’s done a fine job of protecting the quarterback and keeping edge rushers at bay. However, if I were the Texans, I’d shift him inside to guard. A year or two on the inside would not only help Vrabel’s long-term development, but would fill a desperate need for Houston.
Kylin Hill, RB, Mississippi State
Fourth Round – Pick 110
Last offseason, the Houston Texans sent wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona in exchange for some draft picks and running back David Johnson. Alongside Duke Johnson, the Houston Texans rank last in rushing yards through the first four weeks. Even if Houston is able to find some success down the road in the running game, it’s still a position that should require some attention.
Both of the current running backs are under contract through the end of next season, but Kylin Hill would offer an immediate upgrade. In addition to what he can do in the backfield, Hill would also open up the pass game. Selecting Kylin Hill here in this Houston Texans mock draft is about opening up the offense and giving Deshaun Watson more weapons to work with.
Jordan Smith, EDGE, UAB
Fifth Round – Pick 134
In four games this season, the Houston Texans have yet to cause a turnover. More so, the defense hasn’t looked the same. It has become evident this season that the Texans miss, at the very least, the speed off the edge that Jadeveon Clowney contributed.
Jordan Smith hasn’t faced top-level talent in college, and will likely only play situational football to start the season, but would add much needed depth to the defense. This selection, in essence, would be a low-risk/high-reward pick. I wouldn’t expect much from Smith in his rookie season, or at least when compared to what Clowney or Watt have contributed to that defense over the years. However, I think that he is someone that could mold into a very solid depth or potential starter for the Texans down the road.
T.J. Vasher, WR, Texas Tech
Sixth Round – Pick 163
Will Fuller is in the final year of his contract, and the Texans have a potential out on the contract of Brandin Cooks. After sending DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona, the Houston Texans have looked stale on offense.
T.J. Vasher has had some off-field issues at Texas Tech, mostly related to grades. However, he’s been instrumental in their offense. Measuring in at 6’6, Vasher would be a threat on the outside, as well as in the redzone. Additionally, with the Texans having a need at tight end, they could have Vasher add weight to play the position as he obviously has the frame to do so.
All of these draft picks will be dependent on who the Houston Texans hire as General Manager and Head Coach, but an NFL Draft prospect, like T.J. Vasher, would be a slam dunk in this mock draft.
Cole Van Lanen, OT, Wisconsin
Sixth Round – Pick 166
Much like their fourth round selection of Tyler Vrabel in this mock draft, this pick is all about depth for the Houston Texans. The offensive line has gone largely unaddressed during Bill O’Brien’s tenure in this franchise, and I don’t envision that happening much longer.
Rather, look for this franchise to put an emphasis on keeping quarterback Deshaun Watson upright and healthy. I’ve given the Texans two capable offensive lineman that have upside, athletic ability, and potential. More so, these picks will help the franchise to ‘establish the run’ as O’Brien attempted to do this season so often.
D.J. Daniel, CB, Georgia
Sixth Round – Pick 185
We’ve yet to address the secondary in this mock draft for the Houston Texans, so let’s do so here. D.J. Daniel wouldn’t be my first choice for Houston, but with no first or second round draft pick, options are limited.
Daniel has a nice athletic ability, but needs to refine his mechanics. If the Houston Texans are able to do so, they could find a potential late-round lockdown corner.
Jamar Watson, EDGE, Kentucky
Seventh Round – Pick 198
Jamar ‘Boogie’ Watson is the final pick for the Houston Texans in this mock draft. At the University of Kentucky, Watson has shown flashes of an explosive and talented edge rusher. He hasn’t always played consistently, which is, in part, why he’s coming off the board in the seventh round.
A year on the practice squad, or at most contributing on special teams or situational football, would be a wise choice for his development. If they can find something there, and bring him along over time, the Texans would have much needed depth and speed off the edge.