The NFL Draft is over, and once more the offseason heads into a lull before the beginning of training camp in July. Until then, every improvement has only been made on paper, and the teams only exist in the minds of the staff, the media, and the fans. It’s a rare time when the NFL does not dominate all discussions about sport, but that doesn’t mean that nothing happens.For the Houston Texans, this draft was about numbers.
They had a boatload of picks and needed every single one of them to continue the rebuilding process under Lovie Smith. In that sense, the draft proved very productive and on that note, let’s grade every pick the Houston Texans had in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Houston Texans 2022 NFL Draft Grades
Round 1, Pick 3- Derek Stingley, Jr., CB, LSU: A
Coming into the draft, the top two cornerbacks in the class separated themselves from their peers, those being Derek Stingley Jr., and Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner. Choosing between them, however, was a difficult decision. You could ask 500 different people which was better and the distribution would be about 50/50. Getting the best player at any position in a draft is always cause for a high grade on lists like these, and the only reason the Texans get an A and not an A+ is that picking one of the two corners was a no-brainer. That being said, Stingley should serve Houston very well.
Round 1, Pick 15- Kenyon Green, G, Texas A&M: B+
Another case of taking the best player available since the Texans had a need at pretty much every position that’s not quarterback, and another case of taking probably the best player at his position. Green was a tremendous run blocker in College Station, setting up incredible numbers for the likes of Devon Achane and Isaiah Spiller. If he can polish off his pass blocking, his versatility may make him one of the most valuable selections in this class for the Texans, plus they grabbed a few extra picks by moving back a couple of spots, and those extra picks would be put to good use later.
Round 2, Pick 37- Jalen Pitre, S, Baylor: A
Before the draft, if you’ll remember, yours truly wrote a mock draft for the Texans in which the Texans drafted both Stingley and Pitre at the positions they actually ended up being selected at. Apologies are due for listing Pitre as a cornerback in that mock, but that mistake has been rectified through a quick film session (and hearing everyone else say he’s going to play safety, let’s be real). In all likelihood, Pitre will act as a sort of rover in the secondary, attacking the ball wherever it finds its way to. There’s no doubt in my mind, after having watched him, that Pitre has the tools to join Stingley in completely revamping this Texans pass defense.
Round 2, Pick 44- John Metchie, WR, Alabama: A-
Much like his teammate Jameson Williams, Metchie was in the discussion for being a first-round prospect before an ACL injury in the conference championship. However, assuming his rehab has gone well, he may end up being quite the steal for the Texans. Metchie is a technician of a route runner, and it’ll be interesting to see if he’s more often used on the outside or in the slot in Houston. Either way, expect Metchie to quickly become one of Davis Mills’ favorite targets alongside Brandin Cooks. Sometimes in the draft, you can luck into getting a prospect later than you should because of injuries, and that’s happened here with the Texans.
Round 3, Pick 75- Christian Harris, LB, Alabama: A+
Baffling may not be the right word to describe the decision by all 32 teams to allow Christian Harris to fall this far. Sure at 6’1″, 225 pounds he may be a tiny bit undersized, but in the modern NFL, that’s every linebacker. Harris proved time and time again during his tenure in Tuscaloosa that he was among the best inside linebackers in the country. In all three seasons with the Crimson Tide, Harris finished with a minimum of 65 tackles, and really showed out at the combine running a 4.44(!!!!) 40-yard dash. There’s really not much Harris can’t do, and even in a crowded linebacker room in Houston, he should be able to earn reps very very early.
Round 4, Pick 107- Daemon Pierce, RB, Florida: A-
At this stage in the draft, you’re looking for versatility and skillsets more than raw talent, and Pierce has that in spades for the Texans. Pierce is a bruising runner, while simultaneously being one of the better pass-blocking running backs in the draft as well. Perhaps he fell this far due to being in a running back by committee situation in Gainesville, but he should be able to win plenty of carries for himself in Houston. A great pick for the position for the Texans.
Round 5, Pick 170- Teagan Quitoriano, TE, Oregon State: B-
Sure, the Texans already have a tight end that can catch any and everything in Darren Fells, but Quitoriano is a bit too one-dimensional to earn a higher grade here. He’s an excellent blocker, but he only caught 40 passes across 4 seasons at Oregon State, and only 6 touchdowns. Again, Quitoriano was almost certainly drafted to be the foil to Darren Fells’ skillset, and he’s good enough a blocker to almost cancel out this issue, but as mentioned earlier, versatility is huge on day 3 of the draft, and Quitoriano will have to develop quite a bit to get there.
Round 6, Pick 205- Austin Deculus, RT, LSU: B+
Usually, it’s best to shy away from assigning a specific side of the field to an offensive lineman, but Deculus almost exclusively played right tackle while at LSU, logging a staggering 3,300 snaps at the position. For now, he’ll sit and develop, but he’s got the experience to surprise some people and potentially pick up some good reps as the season goes on.
Overall Grade: A
The Texans came in with a clear plan and executed it to perfection. For where they’re at in the rebuilding process, I don’t think much more could’ve been asked of Nick Caserio and Lovie Smith. Congratulations Houston, you may have just had the best draft in the league.