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Mel Kiper Jr. Has Houston Texans Shaking Things Up in Latest NFL Mock Draft


HOUSTON — The Houston Texans are in the midst of interviewing candidates for his or her vacant head coach position. But once the Texans hire their sixth coach in franchise history, it is going to be time for the organization to show its attention to the draft. 

ESPN released its first of several mock drafts Wednesday morning. And with the No. 2 pick, the Texans chosen quarterback C.J. Stroud from Ohio State. 

Said Kiper:

Houston just fired coach Lovie Smith, and the franchise’s clear offseason priority must be upgrading on the quarterback position. Davis Mills really struggled in his second season because the Texans’ offense was among the many league’s worst in several statistical categories. With two top-12 picks on this draft, they should get quality starters as they proceed their rebuild.

I see Stroud as one of the best fit here because the Texans could get their pick of the highest passers. He’s extremely accurate, could make every throw and has excellent touch at every level of the sphere. I normally don’t put much stock right into a single game evaluation, but Stroud’s performance within the narrow loss to Georgia within the College Football Playoff semifinals showed me something. He was spectacular against an elite defense, carving up the Bulldogs together with his arm and using his legs to maneuver the pocket and find receivers. Houston still has several needs, but it surely should start with Stroud. I actually have Stroud just barely behind Will Levis (Kentucky) and Bryce Young (Alabama) in my rankings, but it’ll be a detailed race through April.

Stroud was the primary quarterback taken in Kiper’s mock, and he was the second prospect taken after the Chicago Bears chosen defensive tackle Jalen Carter from Georgia. 

The mock choice of Stroud would give general manager Nick Caserio his ideal quarterback based on his stature. He’s 6-foot-3, 215 kilos and has the frame to endure the physicality of the NFL.

After an exceptional 2022 campaign, Stroud finished his college profession throwing for 8,123 yards while completing 69.3 percent of his passes for 85 touchdowns and a dozen interceptions.

For the Texans’ second pick, Kiper has Caserio and company electing to go the way in which of defense, picking Iowa defensive lineman, Lukas Van Ness, with the No. 12 pick.

Said Kiper:

I gave the Texans their quarterback of the longer term with the No. 2 pick, and general manager Nick Caserio should go together with one of the best prospect on his board with this selection, which was acquired within the Deshaun Watson trade. Do not get picky and take a look at to plug a hole — this roster has to enhance in several spots. Van Ness is a flexible and productive defender who made an impact at end and tackle for the Hawkeyes, whilst he never actually began a game. He had 13.5 sacks over the past two seasons, 9.5 from the inside and 4 from the sting. NFL teams covet that type of positional flexibility. He would get a lot of early snaps for Houston.

Van Ness is a flexible defender who can play each inside and outside in an area by which the Texans desperately need to enhance going forward. 

With that said, if things go Kiper’s way and Caserio gets his quarterback of the longer term and a defensive position anchor, the Texans franchise could get put back on the fast track to improvement.

You may follow Coty M. Davis on Twitter at @CotyDavis_24

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