Sunday, January 15, 2023

Houston Texans 2023 NFL Mock Draft Roundup 3.0

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:

CBS Sports - Stackpole (1/13)

2. Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

The Texans should absolutely be nervous about a team jumping them for a quarterback, but in this mock they get their guy. And that guy is Bryce Young, whose poise, vision and accuracy outweigh his historically small stature (relative to successful NFL quarterbacks). Some teams may be scared away by Young's lack of size, but his skillset warrants being the first quarterback taken.

12. Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU

Pairing Quentin Johnston, potentially the No. 1 wide receiver in this class, with Bryce Young would immediately provide this offense with some firepower, especially with running back Dameon Pierce coming off an impressive rookie campaign. Not only would opposing defensive backs have to keep up with Johnston, but they'd have to deal with his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame with the ball in the air.

San Diego Union Tribune - Brown (1/12)

2. Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

Coming from the Patriots, GM Nick Caserio never experienced what it was like to have the top overall pick, or need a quarterback really, but the position has to be at the top of his off-season list of priorities. Young has showcased an elite level skillset for two straight seasons, 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 (6-foot, 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 Young, Metchie, Dameon Pierce and Nico Collins would form a solid foundation. He does Deebo Samuel-like things, forcing missed tackles when he has the ball in his hands, but he's 6-foot-4, 215 pounds — Samuel is four inches shorter.

NBC Sports Chicago - Morgan (1/12)

2. Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

Questions persist about Young's physical stature and possible durability issues as a quarterback in the NFL. Although he lacks prototypical size to play at the next level (6-foot, 194 pounds), Young performs with scalpel-like precision when executing game plans. In his final collegiate contest against Kansas State (Sugar Bowl), Young completed 71.4% of his passes for 321 yards and five touchdowns.

12. Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern

A sound technician with exceptional upper body strength, Skoronski plays with a nastiness that discourages defenders ill equipped to handle his power. Skoronski is arguably the best offensive lineman in this draft class, producing top notch performances on a weekly basis. Skoronski is a respected pro prospect who flashes day one starting potential. According to PFF, Skoronski is the highest rated pass blocker (92.4) in the nation.

Yahoo! Sports - McDonald (1/11)

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

C.J. Stroud might have locked up QB1 status after his incredible performance against Georgia in the College Football Playoff semifinals. The Texans desperately need to find a stabilizing presence at quarterback and Stroud has all the tools to be that guy.

12. Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU

Brandin Cooks wants out from Houston, which means the Texans will need a new top wideout for their new franchise quarterback. Johnston had a quiet national title game, along with the rest of TCU, but he's talented and would be a nice fit with Stroud as the Texans build a supporting cast for him.

Walter Football (1/11)

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

The Texans won't be able to get the quarterback they want because of their foolish decision to win in Week 18. They could trade up to No. 1, but that would make them look extra stupid.

Houston passed on all the quarterbacks in the 2022 NFL Draft. No one blamed them for doing that, but they won't be able to repeat that strategy this upcoming April.

C.J. Stroud completed 71 percent of his passes this past season. He's a lethal passer, and as we saw in the college football semi-final, he can run if he needs to with his 4.65 speed.

12. Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU

The Texans need a second receiver across from Brandin Cooks in the near term, and a different No. 1 wideout for the long haul.

Scouts are smitten with Quentin Johnston, who has drawn comparisons to Julio Jones.

CBS Sports - Trapasso (1/11)

2. Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama

The Texans have a long history of picking edge rushers near or at the top of the draft. Anderson is a high-floor, All-Pro-upside type at the defensive end spot.

12. Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU

Johnston is a major vertical threat given his size and build-up speed. The Texans have to get better in the receiver room, especially if Brandin Cooks is moved in the offseason.

USA Today - MMS (1/10)

2. Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

For most of the season, Houston looked like a sure thing to secure the No. 1 overall selection. Now, the Texans must grapple with whether to make a trade with Chicago or risk losing out on its top option. The clear choice should be Young, who might be the only player in this draft capable of elevating a franchise responsible for one-and-done coaches in consecutive years. A master of maneuvering the pocket, Young shows uncommon cool in the face of pressure. He's by no means a sure thing, and his 6-0, 194-pound frame will be a sticking point for some. But Young marks the best chance for the Texans to jumpstart a rebuild that has been dormant for some time.

12. Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU

Houston can't expect for Bryce Young — or any other quarterback — to single-handedly save an offense that ranked 31st with just 17 points per game. Enter Johnston, a 6-4, 215-pound burner who's equally comfortable hauling in deep bombs as he is evading defenders after slants.

Bleacher Report (1/9)

2. Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

The Houston Texans have remained rudderless since Bill O'Brien's tenure as head coach/general manager imploded. Since then, the organization has spent the past two-and-three-quarter seasons stuck in a constant rebuild.

The team has little talent and only a handful of players—Laremy Tunsil, Tytus Howard, Kenyon Green, Dameon Pierce, Derek Stingley Jr. and Jalen Pitre—who should be viewed as building blocks for the coming years. What the squad truly lacks is stability at the game's most important position.

Davis Mills showed promise as a former third-round pick, but he simply didn't develop enough this past season. As such, the Texans can concentrate on a quarterback with the second overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft. Alabama's Bryce Young is the current target.

"Houston's offense desperately needs the spark Young can provide," Klassen stated. "With Mills at the helm, the offense struggles to do anything beyond safe, on-schedule throws inside of 10 yards. Young is the antidote.

"Though still well-versed as an on-schedule passer, Young thrives the longer the ball is in his hands. He's bouncy in the pocket and tough to catch outside of it—a combination that unlocks creative answers other quarterbacks in this class cannot rival. At a listed 6'0" and 194 pounds, Young's main question mark is size. It's concerning not only from a durability standpoint but in terms of how Young will be able to see the field and throw over NFL defensive linemen."

Young plays the position at a higher level than anyone else in this year's draft. If the Texans still aren't entirely sold, they'll strongly consider Ohio State's C.J. Stroud or Kentucky's Will Levis.

12. Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU

The Houston Texans couldn't ask for a better setup during the 2023 NFL draft.

First, the team gets its pick of the incoming quarterback class to finally set that position for the foreseeable future. The Texans come back around thanks to the Deshaun Watson trade, with the chance to select the best overall talent at wide receiver.

What a wonderful way to start building toward something of substance in Houston.

"Who better to pair with a creative, playmaking quarterback in Bryce Young than the big-bodied wide receiver who can score from anywhere?" Klassen asked. "TCU's Quentin Johnston brings a familiar presence back to Houston since he sports a similar build and skill set to DeAndre Hopkins.

"Johnston does his best work the more he can stride out, serve as a downfield threat or when he's hit on the run during underneath routes. The 6'4", 215-pound target is a legit mismatch on go balls, post routes and deep over routes. The Texans offense clearly lacks a similar presence in the offense.

"Additionally, Johnston is a solid ball-winner, which will be highly beneficial since Young will certainly put him to the test early and often."

The Texans will be appointment viewing with Young and Johnston leading the way. At worst, their offense won't be boring anymore. A potential move at head coach to bring in an offensive mind and a new system can make the setup even more tantalizing.

The 33rd Team (1/9)

2. Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

The Texans lost the No. 1 pick with their overtime victory on Sunday, but with the Bears taking Anderson, Houston lucks into still having their pick of this QB class. Young, who followed up his 2021 Heisman Trophy-winning season with 3,328 passing yards and a 32-5 TD-interception ratio as a junior in '22, is their guy.

12. Jordan Addison, WR, USC

The Texans add a much needed weapon to support Bryce Young in the passing game. Addison, who has more than 2,400 receiving yards to go with 25 TD catches the past two seasons, is the most polished receiver in this year's class.

PFF - Renner (1/9)

2. Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

Levis isn't at all a bad consolation prize for the Texans. He's already shown he can operate an NFL offense with two different offensive coordinators who have done the same in the league. Levis possesses elite physical tools with a laser of a right arm paired with an exceptionally quick release. He's proven able to operate from tight pockets and under pressure. He averaged 9.2 yards per attempt on 82 pass attempts under pressure in 2022.

12. Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU

The Texans give their newly minted quarterback a receiver with a massive catch radius that's easy to build rapport with. Johnston has 59 catches for 1,064 yards with six scores and 18 broken tackles this season, prior to the national championship game. He's a unique big-play threat for a 6-foot-4, 215-pounder, as he's averaged 18.9 yards per reception in his career.

MORE TEAMS: All NFL Team Mock Draft Roundups

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