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The Houston Texans have two first-round picks to start the 2022 NFL draft. The concept of two Round 1 selections generates its own optimism, but that could quickly turn into regret and disdain for the fans if general manager Nick Caserio doesn’t navigate the board correctly.
According to Maurice Jones-Drew from the NFL Network, the Texans get decent value with their initial first-round pick in the selection of Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux.
I kept Thibodeaux here because Lovie Smith’s Cover 2 scheme needs a guy who can regularly pressure the quarterback. This is that guy.
Georgia defensive end Travon Walker went No. 1 overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Detroit Lions take the local kid in Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson. The New York Jets grab Cincinnati cornerback Ahmad Gardner immediately after the Texans pass on him.
Houston passes on Notre Dame safety Hamilton at No. 13 overall and decide to add another high quality offensive lineman in Alabama tackle Evan Neal.
The QB run allows Houston to nab a highly pedigreed bookend blocker to play opposite Laremy Tunsil.
Never mind Tytus Howard is already playing opposite of Tunsil — more tackles!
Draft hauls have to be taken into context of how the board looks when a team picks. If four quarterbacks went in the top-10 of this draft — Kenny Pickett at No. 6 to Carolina, Malik Willis No. 8 to Atlanta, Desmond Ritter No. 9 to Seattle, Matt Corral No. 10 to New Orleans via trade — and Houston came up with Neal, it would engender frustration from long-suffering Texans fans.
Consider that in such a scenario, Georgia defensive tackles Jordan Davis, Devonte Wyatt, Ohio State receiver Garrett Wilson, USC wideout Drake London, and Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd are all still on the board — not to mention Hamilton. Adding Neal would be overkill, especially since Houston has their tackles locked in with Tunsil and Howard.