Often the NFL Draft comes down to little more than an educated guess – but how well educated have the Houston Texans been over the past decade?
Well, to find out, ESPN ranked the 32 teams by the approximate value of each player drafted (ranked by Pro Football Focus) and weighed that against where they were drafted to find a value. overall (or approximate career value against expectations, as they made it up).
So how have the Texans fared in a decade as they’ve gone through three general managers and six head coaches?
All things considered, it could be much worse, coming in at a very average 15th place.
The following players ranked at the top and bottom of their class according to ESPN’s metric:
2012 – Ben Jones, C – DeVier Posey, WR
2013 – DeAndre Hopkins, WR – Brennan Williams, OL
2014 – Alfred Blue, RB – Xavier Su’a-Filo, G
2015 – Christian Covington, DT – Kevin Johnson, BC
2016 – DJ Player, DT – Braxton Miller, WR
2017 – Deshaun Watson, QB – Treston Decoud, DB
2018 – Jordan Akins, TE – Martinas Rankin, OT
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2019 – Max Scharping, OT – Kahale Warring, TE
2020 – Charlie Heck, Occupational Therapist – Ross Blacklock, DT
2021 – Davis Mills, QB – Brevin Jordan, TE
Looking ahead, Texans fans have reason to be optimistic given that this was Nick Caserio’s first draft as general manager, and every player has started at least two games – even if none was only drafted before the third round.
Nico Collins and Davis Mills
However, statistically, it wasn’t Houston’s best class since 2012 – that honor goes to Rick Smith’s final draft as GM in 2017.
The Texans couldn’t have predicted that less than five years later, their top two draft picks — including one of their top five all-time picks — would no longer be on the team. The Texans traded quarterback Deshaun Watson in 2017, and although he would only play 54 games for the franchise, that was enough to make it the best draft class of the last decade for Houston. Zach Cunningham was Houston’s second-round pick that year and got a big four-year extension after his third season, though he was cut in the 2021 season. — Sarah Barshop
While they finished in the overall average, in terms of day three value, the Texans were ranked seventh.
Notable players drafted here include defensive tackles Carlos Watkins and Christian Covington, safety Andre Hal and running back Alfred Blue.
However, defensive tackle DJ Reader came out on top for best day three value.
Reader has quietly become a solid player in the middle. A key piece in the Bengals’ Super Bowl last season, he was a space eater in the middle who completely transformed the defense. — Reid
In the meantime, the Texans enter the 2022 NFL Draft with 11 picks, including five in the top 80.