NFL rumors: Texans potentially to trade back up in first round

Could the Houston Texans actually move back up in the first round of Thursday’s NFL draft just weeks after trading away the No. 23 overall pick?

According to NFL Network’s Peter Schrager, it’s not a far-fetched idea.

Schrager posted to X, formerly known as Twitter, a list of teams that could find their way back into the end of the first round. The Texans, who currently own two second-round picks, were one franchise mentioned as something to monitor.

Defensive tackle and cornerback remain weak points for the AFC South champs entering Thursday night. Both positions were constantly mocked at pick No. 23 and have the usual suspects in the second round. 

Illinois defensive tackle Johnny Netwon and Alabama cornerback Kool-Aid McKinstry could be ideal targets for Houston to move up for in Round 1. Both All-Americans dealt with Jones fractures that limited them in workouts during the pre-draft process. 

McKinstry, who ran a 4.47 at Alabama’s pro day last month, fits the mold of what Texans coach and defensive play caller DeMeco Ryans loves in his cornerbacks. A three-year starter for the Crimson Tide, McKinstry finished his career with 23 pass breakups and two interceptions.

Last month at the combine, McKinstry said he did meet with the Texans for a formal interview, though it wasn’t reported if he visited NRG Stadium for a 30 visit after his pro day.

Newton, a two-time All-Big Ten defensive tackle, also met with the Texans at his pro day away from the other Illinois prospects. He was considered the top interior defensive lineman entering the season after finishing with a career-high 14 tackles for loss in 2022.

Texans general manager Nick Caserio has proven before his militancy to grab a talent he covets. In 2022, he traded up 23 spots to draft receiver John Metchie III in the second round. Last season, the Texans moved up nine spots with the Arizona Cardinals to acquire defensive end and eventually Defensive Rookie of the Year Will Anderson Jr. at No. 3. 

Both Metchie and Anderson went to Alabama, a common theme for Houston in the Caserio regime over the previous two drafts. On top of that, Arizona holds the No. 27 pick, and Caserio’s relationship with Monti Ossenfort bodes well for a potential deal. 

Story originally appeared on Texans Wire