2024 NFL draft: Updated Texans 7-round mock draft

The Houston Texans are coming off a very successful season. The AFC South champs weren’t expected to find a lot of wins, but their 10-7 record under rookie head coach Demeco Ryans and a playoff win have Houston buzzing once again.

A year after selecting QB C.J. Stroud at No. 2 overall and EDGE Will Anderson at No. 3 — both big hits immediately — Houston won’t pick until No. 23 overall in the first round. That’s a pick acquired from the Cleveland Browns; Houston’s own pick is No. 27 overall, but that was traded to the Cardinals in the move up to select Anderson.

Houston has an interesting set of draft slots. After one pick in each of the first three rounds, Texans GM Nick Caserio has two fourth-rounders and then skips to three picks in the seventh round. The Texans have just three of their own picks — a second (No. 59 overall), one of the fourth-rounders and one of the seventh-rounders.

While their history says they’ll be active traders again, this full mock draft has the Texans making their picks without any more trades.

First round: Patrick Paul, OT, Houston

(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

Paul is a high-end prospect as well as a local one. As a Cougar, the nimble 6-foot-7 Paul allowed just one sack and had a pass-blocking efficiency of over 99 percent in PFF grading.

He needs a little technical refinement, but the athleticism and potential are sky-high. For a team like the Texans who have a major question at right tackle entering 2024 in front of Stroud, Paul makes for a potential long-term standout.

Second round: Brandon Dorlus, DL, Oregon

Christopher Creveling-USA TODAY Sports
Christopher Creveling-USA TODAY Sports

The Ducks moved Dorlus all over their defensive line, with the well-muscled 280-pounder playing anywhere from the 3-tech to some off-ball OLB. He’s at his best attacking the B-gaps, using his strength and quickness to win over the shoulder of a guard or inside a tackle.

His versatile frame and ability to disrupt from multiple spots are appealing. For a team like the Texans, getting him into one specific role to start would be a smart move and then build off that. Dorlus is one of the biggest variables in the top 100 projections; his weight and athletic testing will determine if this is the right range. He’s the right type of player for Houston, regardless.

Third round: Mike Sainristil, CB, Michigan

Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports
Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports

Sainristil is a prospect whose arrow is pointing almost straight up. He’s only been a cornerback for two seasons, and the growth he showed in that time for Michigan is mighty impressive.

He’s an easy fit into the Steven Nelson role in Houston, with the 31-year-old Nelson hitting free agency. Sainristil could also work in the slot, where his aggressive run defense and quickness to attack screens and swing passes would be a nice asset for the Texans.

Fourth round (2 picks)

The Texans picks are currently at No. 123 and No. 127, subject to change with the amount of third-round compensatory picks.

Seventh round (3 picks)

Holy Cross’s Jalen Coker makes a spectacular catch and subsequent touchdown during football game between Bucknell and Holy Cross at Polar Park on Saturday.
Holy Cross’s Jalen Coker makes a spectacular catch and subsequent touchdown during football game between Bucknell and Holy Cross at Polar Park on Saturday.

First pick: Jalen Coker, WR, Holy Cross

Second pick: Trevor Keegan, OG, Michigan

Third pick: Khalid Duke, OLB, Kansas State

Coker is a sleeper who could rise well above the seventh round as the draft process progresses. He was a big play machine at the FCS level and proved himself at the Hula Bowl week, earning a promotion to the upcoming Shrine Bowl. He plays bigger than his 6-foot-1, 218-pound frame and catches everything thrown near him.

Keegan started 37 games for Michigan and was the left guard on the Wolverines team that made two straight CFP appearances. His short-range power and ability to reliably seal open holes in the run game are Keegan’s top selling points.

Duke played off-ball backer for the Wildcats, and did so pretty well, before taking over at EDGE for 2023 first-rounder Felix Anudike-Uzomah last season. He’s got a similar playing style to Jonathan Greenard, who is a free agent, though Duke will need to add more bulk to make that work effectively in the NFL

Story originally appeared on Draft Wire