Texans pick CB Jamel Dean in 2019 NFL draft redo

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Hindsight always provides clarity, and for the Houston Texans, the 2019 NFL draft is becoming clearer as to where the team started going off the rails.

Consider that entering the 2022 season there are just two picks remaining on the roster in first-round tackle Tytus Howard and second-round guard Max Scharping. Howard had his fifth-year option picked up, but Scharping may not see a second contract with Houston after 2022.

According to Trevor Sikkema from Pro Football Focus, who conducted a redo of the 2019 NFL draft, the Texans take former Auburn cornerback Jamel Dean, who originally went in the third round to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

On draft night, the selection of Howard at No. 23 was one of the more shocking picks of the first round.

Editor’s note — the only thing “shocking” about the Howard pick was it was framed as a reach because the Philadelphia Eagles took tackle Andre Dillard the pick prior. Of course, the debate was settled by the end of their rookie years as to who the better tackle was. That might be the shocking part of the Howard pick.

If the Texans had to do it over again, they’d likely look to their secondary, especially given how bad it is currently. With a handful of cornerbacks to choose from, Dean stands out as the one with the highest ceiling. He’s recorded a 76.0-plus coverage grade in each of his first three NFL seasons.

General manager Brian Gaine probably should have invested more in the secondary, and they tried in the second round with defensive back Lonnie Johnson, who was yo-yoed between cornerback and safety throughout his career that it spoiled his Texans tenure. But the Texans’ offensive line was either directly responsible or an enabler in the starting quarterback taking a league-high 62 sacks the year before. Gaine’s priority was to find a protector for the presumptive franchise quarterback.

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