Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Houston Texans 2023 NFL Mock Draft Roundup 5.0

Throughout the year and leading up to the 2023 NFL Draft, we will update our Houston Texans Mock Draft Roundup showing picks for the Houston Texans from several prominent sites and draft analysts.

The following are picks in recent mock drafts for the Texans: - Daniel Jeremiah (2/21)

2. Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

Young is the best quarterback in the class. I'll think he'll fit beautifully with the Texans as they try to work their way up in the AFC South.

12. Jordan Addison, WR, USC

Houston instantly adds some firepower for No. 2 selection Bryce Young. The selection of Addison, along with the return of John Metchie III, would give the receiving corps a huge boost.

USA Today - Nate Davis (2/20)

2. Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

He can sling it, never better than in 2021 when he won the Heisman Trophy. That season, Young finished with 4,872 yards and 47 TDs through the air. He's accurate (66% completion rate in college) and his career 80-to-12 touchdown-to-interception ratio is indicative of solid decision-making. Young is highly mobile, though typically buys time to pass and does a nice job keeping his eyes downfield — a la peak Russell Wilson. The combine will officially determine whether he's 6 feet and/or 200 pounds, either figure likely to concern his next team — especially since Young won't be afforded the same level of protection he was at Alabama.

12. Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame

He catches (138 receptions for 1,649 yards over past two seasons), he blocks, he scores (16 TDs over past two seasons), and the 2022 All-American is huge (6-4, 265 pounds). Is there a better way to help a young quarterback and RB Dameon Pierce?

CBS Sports - Ryan Wilson (2/20)

2. Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

Bryce Young might be historically undersized by successful NFL QB standards but we don't care. He's been that good for Alabama, dragging that team to victory just about every week. And he did it with none of the playmakers that made life so much easier for Tua Tagovailoa and Mac Jones in previous years.

12. Jordan Addison, WR, USC

Addison isn't a big target, but he's one of the most dynamic players in the country who can line up anywhere. The only question is whether Addison or Quentin Johnston will be WR1. Two different body types, two different playing styles, both dominant. The Texans could go OL here to help protect their investment in QB but this class is much deeper at offensive line than top-flight WRs.

The Draft Network - Keith Sanchez (2/20)

2. C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State

With the hiring of DeMeco Ryans to a long-term deal, it appears that the Texans are finally serious about starting a true rebuild. And that rebuild starts with them drafting a franchise QB. C.J. Stroud has plus-level arm talent and is mobile enough to draw up some designed QB-movement plays. Stroud is the first huge puzzle piece in the Texans' rebuild in the Ryans era.

12. Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU

This is the Texans going all in on developing an offensive identity. They added Stroud with their first pick in this NFL mock draft, and with this pick, they select WR Quentin Johnston. At 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds with elite-level speed, Johnston has the ability to become a dominant receiver in the NFL. Adding him to the offensive weapons that the Texans already have on the roster makes the future really exciting.

SI - Kevin Hanson (2/17)

2. Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

Although he played better than expected as a third-round rookie in 2021, Davis Mills ranked 29th (or worse) in completion percentage (61%), yards per attempt (6.5) and passer rating (78.8) while tying for a league-worst 15 interceptions thrown last season. It's difficult to envision the Texans not using this pick on a signal-caller, and Young offers plenty of hope for the future of the franchise.

The biggest concern about Young is his size (he's listed at 194 pounds) and the durability risk that comes with it, but he has the ability to lift the play of those around him. Young is always composed, accurate to all three levels, and processes information quickly. His ability to make plays outside of structure stands out.

12. Jordan Addison, WR, USC

If the Texans draft Young (or a different quarterback) with their first pick, it would make sense to put as many pieces in place for their young quarterback to be successful early. Addison is not the biggest or strongest receiver, but he has the speed, route-running ability and ball skills to emerge as the team's top receiver early in his career.

The Athletic - CFB Writers (2/17)

2. Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

In this trade-free mock draft, the Texans are happy to sit back and get their guy at No. 2. Young is the difference-maker this new coaching staff needs to build around. His poise and accuracy are special, and he totally played up to the hype in his two seasons as an SEC starter. The size concerns are valid, but you'd be a fool to talk yourself out of drafting Young.

12. Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU

We got Young at No. 2. Now we're getting a go-to receiver for the franchise QB. It's not hard to upgrade at this spot from last year's crew of Brandin Cooks, Chris Moore, Nico Collins and Phillip Dorsett. Johnston is a freak athlete at 6 foot 4 and 215 pounds who is still just scratching the surface of his pro potential and should impress at the combine. Young can certainly throw it up to Johnston and trust he'll win on 50/50 balls, but the long wideout is also adept at making plays in space.

ESPN - Todd McShay (2/15)

2. C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State

Like their AFC South foe in Indianapolis, the Texans have to get their new coach -- albeit one with defensive roots in DeMeco Ryans -- a quarterback. They were ahead of only the Colts in scoring (16.1 points per game), and Davis Mills doesn't appear to be the answer. He has nearly as many interceptions as touchdown passes over his two-year career (33-25).

Stroud, meanwhile, finished the 2022 season with an 88.9 QBR and threw 41 touchdown passes to just six picks. His touch, timing and smooth delivery really pop on tape, and we saw flashes of his mobility toward the end of the season. Go watch his outstanding performance against Georgia in the College Football Playoff to see why he's high on NFL teams' boards. Houston does have another first-rounder, so perhaps it can add another target for him, too.

12. Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU

If you draft a quarterback at No. 2 (Stroud), it's smart to set him up to succeed with a strong supporting cast. The run game got a bump from Dameon Pierce this year, the offensive line is solid and John Metchie III should return (recovering from leukemia) to join Brandin Cooks in the receiving corps, but we're talking about the league's worst offense last season (4.8 yards per play). Stroud would need a big-body receiver to go up and get 50-50 balls, stretch the field and produce after the catch. That's Johnston.

If the Texans go this route, they'd be the first team since 2010 to draft a QB and a new receiver for him in the same first round (Denver), per ESPN Stats & Information research.

San Diego Union Tribune - Eddie Brown (2/15)

2. Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

Coming from the Patriots, GM Nick Caserio never experienced what it was like to draft this high, or need a quarterback really, but the position has to be at the top of his offseason list of priorities. Young has showcased an elite level skillset for two straight seasons — featuring special athleticism and intangibles with a dash of improv — this year with fewer playmakers surrounding him. One of those playmakers was John Metchie, who missed his rookie season for the Texans while being treated for leukemia. Metchie caught 96 balls for 1,142 yards and eight touchdowns his junior year at Alabama with Young under center. Of course, Young's size (5-foot-10, 195 pounds) will be debated, but barring the Chicago Bears staying put to select one of the elite defenders, he is the odds-on favorite to be chosen with the first pick after throwing for 321 yards and five touchdowns in a 45-20 Sugar Bowl victory over Kansas State.

12. Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU

The Texans have needs everywhere, but adding Johnston to a young offensive core that includes Alabama's Young, Metchie, Dameon Pierce and Nico Collins would form a solid foundation. Johnston has drawn comparisons to Cincinnati's Tee Higgins and the Chargers' Mike Williams, but he does Deebo Samuel-like things, forcing missed tackles when he has the ball in his hands — he's 6-foot-4, 215 pounds (Samuel is four inches shorter). - Chad Reuter (2/13)

TRADE - 1. Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

The Texans get their guy with the No. 1 overall pick, swapping spots with the Bears to land Young. Houston sends two picks from the Deshaun Watson trade (Round 3, 2023; Round 1, 2024) and gets a 2023 fifth-rounder back from the Bears to balance the deal. Young's lack of size (6-foot, 194 pounds) might be an issue for some, but his poise, leadership, athleticism and underappreciated throwing velocity give him a chance to be great.

12. Calijah Kancey, IDL, Pittsburgh

Kancey could be a top-10 pick because of his strength at the point of attack and quickness. But we've seen other smaller tackles land in the middle of the first, such as when Aaron Donald went 13th overall in 2014. New Texans coach DeMeco Ryans is quite familiar with Donald's game from his years in San Francisco, so you have to think he'd love to add a playmaker like Kancey on what will be a revamped Houston defensive line in 2023.

MORE TEAMS: All NFL Team Mock Draft Roundups

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