Houston Texans Draft Grade B-

This would be an A, but for the first round. First round OT Tytus Howard was not a good pick, even if he pans out as a LT. He would have been there 20 picks later, and the Texans could have traded back and still had him. I don’t think anyone thinks he can start immediately, and Deshaun Watson needs immediate help. You already have a developmental LT (Davenport), you didn’t need a second. It is also questionable as to whether this staff is capable of developing a LT. A ready-made passblocker was available (Dillard) in exchange for a fifth rounder, and could have helped unlock the 40 ppg offense we saw early in Watson’s rookie year.

The rest of this draft looks good but if this mistake exposes Watson (who has already blown out both knees), the draft is a failure. You invested two firsts and a second in Watson, a first in Hopkins, and a first in Fuller, and will have to rely on your running game instead of your passing game because you weren’t willing to give up a 5th rounder.

Second round Kentucky CB Lonnie Johnson has all the physical traits you want in a CB, but will need some coaching to improve his ball skills. Michigan State CB Justin Layne was still available and was arguably a better pick, but I don’t think anyone would question Johnson where he was chosen.

Second round tackle Max Scharping is a big body from a small school, and will likely contribute earlier than his first-round counterpart (albeit at right tackle). Seantrel Henderson’s health is a bad bet, and the Texans are no longer gambling. CB Xavier Crawford and RB Cullen Gillaspia are both adequately-valued picks at position needs for depth.

Third-Round TE Kahale Warring out of Sand Diego State is an athletic receiving TE that ran a 4.65 forty and his tape shows high-end ball skills. He is a relative newcomer to football and his tenacity suggests he might develop his run blocking. Warring is an exciting pick that could give Houston an embarrassment of riches at the TE position.

DE Charles Omenihu in the 5th round might be the late-round steal of the draft. He used his 7-foot wingspan to dominate the senior bowl and was productive in college. He is not a “quick twitch” bender, but he has the strength and length to go through linemen, and control the edge. He could even line up at 3-technique and provide a pass rush.

The Texans’ draft was good, with a change of being exceptional, at many positions. The question will be whether or not their gamble in the first round exposes the Achilles heel of the franchise.

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