Is Texas DL T’Vondre Sweat still an option for Texans following arrest?

Defensive tackle and the Houston Texans go together like peas and carrots, especially when talking needs entering the NFL draft.

It’s no secret the Texans must continue to build their interior defensive line following the departures of Sheldon Rankins and Maliek Collins. Multiple prospects, including Texas defensive lineman T’Vondre Sweat, have consistently been mocked to Houston since the start of the offseason.

Sweat feels like an ideal one-tech for DeMeco Ryans’ front seven, but following this weekend, is he still a viable option?

Sweat, the reigning Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and Outland Trophy winner, was booked into jail after an arrest for driving while intoxicated Sunday. He was later released by the Travis County Jail Sunday afternoon after paying his bail.

Sweat dominated during his final season in Austin, racking up two sacks, eight tackles for loss, seven quarterback hurries, four pass breakups and 45 total tackles. Stats suggest that he underwhelmed, but his play style set the tone in helping Texas secure its first Big 12 title since 2009.

An arrest less than three weeks before the draft isn’t ideal. Teams are fine-combing over every detail of a player’s past, present and future plans to justify the selection. Sweat also faces a Class B misdemeanor, which in Texas carries a fine of up to $2,000 and 180 days in jail.

While not a first-round pick, Sweat likely would have been a lock as the third defensive tackle taken behind fellow Texas star Byron Murphy and Florida State’s Braden Fiske. For the Texans, he was a familiar face at pick No. 59, though he now could be in play at pick No. 86 given his status on draft night.

Everything comes down to Nick Caserio and ownership. Houston, which claimed its first division in four years, is riding high entering 2024. People are buying stock into the C.J. Stroud hype and have been impressed with the overspending in free agency.

In years past, adding Devin Singletary and Dalton Schultz was “winning the offseason.” Adding Pro Bowlers like Stefon Diggs, Joe Mixon, and Danielle Hunter symbolizes the change from “off” to “on.”

Does Houston want to ruin the good vibes surrounding the franchise? Could it pivot from say cornerback at No. 42 to defensive tackle? Does Caserio believe there’s depth beyond Sweat that could make sense in Rounds 3 or 4?

Sweat likely remains a Day 2 prospect. His talent defending the run might be one of the best in the class while his bull-rushing passing sets add that extra “oomph” up the middle.

That doesn’t mean the Texans lock themselves on one specific player. If Sweat already came with some concerns given his weight (361 pounds) or consistency, it likely just moves him down the pecking.

Instead of being the first defensive tackle mentioned, perhaps he’s the third? Perhaps another team values his upside more, making the decision easier for Houston to surpass its temptation.

Sweat fits Houston’s current needs, but so do countless other defensive linemen. It’s a need, yes, but the Texans don’t have to make Sweat their only option when on the clock at either of the three picks.

Story originally appeared on Texans Wire