Houston Texans take 3 first-rounders in Touchdown Wire 2023 NFL mock draft

The draft is less than two months away, and the advent of the new league year is upon the NFL. However, a good mock draft is never out of season.

The NFL Wire editors across the USA TODAY Sports Network collaborated for their first mock draft, which was published in its entirety on the Touchdown Wire. The mock draft features big-name quarterback trades, and that doesn’t even take into consideration the fates of Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, Anthony Richardson, and Will Levis.

Perhaps the most intriguing part for Houston fans is how the Texans were able to land three first-round picks, which are summarized below.

Round 1 (No. 2 overall) — QB Anthony Richardson, Florida

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The Texans miss out on their initial SEC quarterback, but take another one. Richardson showed off his athleticism and cannon at the NFL combine and has the mentality of a leader. New offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik has a signal caller in the mold of Cam Newton, but more with a mind to throw first than to run. The run-pass option for Houston also has more cohesion as Richardson and Texans running back Dameon Pierce were together in Florida in 2021. Houston has a quarterback they can insert into the lineup immediately and expect big things on offense. Mark Lane, Texans Wire

Round 1 (No. 12 overall) — WR Quentin Johnston, TCU

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What helps any quarterback is his targets, and Anthony Richardson gets a fellow first-rounder to grow with Johnston. Johnston provides a big target at 6-4 and would give the Texans two wideouts with length as third-year Nico Collins is also 6-4. Johnston was productive in his 14 games last year with the Horned Frogs as he gathered 60 catches for 1,069 yards and six touchdowns. The move also gives the Texans flexibility with Brandin Cooks in case the 29-year-old wants to play for another team in his ninth NFL season. – Mark Lane, Texans Wire

Round 1 (No. 19 overall) — DE Lukas Van Ness, Iowa

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The Texans trade up with the Detroit Lions at No. 18 overall with their Nos. 33 (Round 2) and 73 (Round 3) overall selections for a crack at three first-rounders. However, Houston continues to work the phones and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are willing to swap places. Houston moves down to No. 19 overall and picks up Nos. 174 (Round 6) and 253 (Round 7) from the Bucs. The Texans throw in No. 201 (Round 6) as part of the swap.

Adding Van Ness gives new coach DeMeco Ryans his premier edge rusher to work with — kind of like in San Francisco when he had Nick Bosa. The Texans’ Day 1 draft approach reflects a modern approach to the game: pass the ball, and affect the opposing passer. Nick Caserio also has extra picks to build packages to take specific players on Day 3, which is where the personnel department banks much of their draft prep. – Mark Lane, Texans Wire



(Courtesy — Houston Texans)

At No. 12 overall, a trade was initiated with New England at No. 14 overall and Washington at No. 16 overall. However, the message was not received in time by either party, and Johnston was the pick.

At No. 19 overall, calls were made to Dallas (No. 26 overall) and Kansas City (No. 31 overall), but neither party answered ahead of the Van Ness selection.

The compensation from Dallas was Nos. 26 (Round 1) and 128 (Round 4). Interestingly Dallas traded their No. 26 overall pick to Detroit for their second- and third-round picks.

The package proposed to Kansas City was Nos. 31 (Round 1), 133 (Round 4), and 166 (Round 5) for Nos. 19 (Round 1) and Round 205 (Round 6).

Story originally appeared on Texans Wire