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Houston Texans Mock Draft Roundup 3.0

Throughout the year and leading up to the 2022 NFL Draft, we will update our Houston Texans Mock Draft Roundup showing picks for the Houston Texans from several prominent sites and draft analysts.

The following are picks in recent mock drafts for the Texans:

CBS Sports - Chris Trapasso (1/20)

3. Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

Nick Caserio was in New England during the prime of the Devin McCourty era, and Hamilton can provide a similar caliber impact on Houston's defense.

ESPN - Mel Kiper (1/19)

3. Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

Houston just fired coach David Culley after one season, and studying the roster he had and the numbers they put up on both sides of the ball, it's a wonder this team won four games. Here are five stats that caught my eye:
  • 27th in total sacks (32)
  • 30th in offensive points per game (15.5)
  • 31st in yards per play allowed (5.9)
  • 32nd in first downs per game (15.6)
  • 32nd in rushing yards per game (83.9)
The bright spot, of course, was the improvement of rookie third-round pick Davis Mills, who played his way into potentially being the opening-day starting quarterback in 2022, but the Texans have holes all over their roster. I think they'd take Aidan Hutchinson or Kayvon Thibodeaux here if either fell out of the top two, but Neal could be a 15-year starter at tackle or guard; he played both at Alabama before settling in at left tackle. Houston has Laremy Tunsil at that spot, but a thumb injury forced him out of 12 games this season. General manager Nick Caserio & Co. could take Neal and figure out his best position later, not unlike what the Lions did with Penei Sewell in the 2021 draft.

The Athletic - Dane Brugler (1/19)

3. Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon

Is there a quarterback in this draft class who is a clear upgrade over Davis Mills? I don't think so, and I doubt the Texans will either. Thibodeaux isn't universally loved around the league, but he is one of the more talented players in this draft. He knows how to create leverage as a pass rusher due to his length and athleticism and is highly physical vs. the run.

Fans expecting Myles Garrett or Chase Young will be disappointed, but that doesn't mean Thibodeaux can't make an immediate impact of his own.

PFF - Austin Gayle (1/17)

3. Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

Evan Neal will draw comparisons to Tristan Wirfs throughout the pre-draft process because of his rare size-athleticism combination. The 6-foot-7, 350-pound behemoth landed at No. 1 on Bruce Feldman's College Football Freaks List and drew insanely high praise for his explosiveness.

"At his size, he is the most impressive lower-body power athlete we have ever seen," Alabama director of sports science Matt Rhea said to Feldman. "His jumping power is in the top 1% we have ever measured. At 350 pounds, he routinely hits box jumps at 48 inches."

This should be a sprint-the-card-in situation for a Houston team in desperate need of blue-chip talent at premium positions.

Baltimore Sun - C.J. Doon (1/14)

3. Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

With the uncertainty surrounding Deshaun Watson's legal situation and Davis Mills' up-and-down rookie season, the Texans could be thinking quarterback here. But with no consensus top signal-caller, it might make more sense to trade down or take the best player available. Neal dominated at left tackle for the Crimson Tide and has rare athleticism for a 6-7, 350-pound lineman.

Athlon Sports - Bryan Fischer (1/13)

3. Ikem Ekwonu, OT, North Carolina State

Ekwonu is going to test off the charts at the Scouting Combine given some of the freaky measurements he's got and could be a nice safe pick for a Texans franchise severely disappointed at seeing these quarterback options available.

San Diego Union Tribune - Eddie Brown (1/13)

3. Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

NFL teams usually can't help themselves when it comes to the quarterback position, but this is too high for a signal-caller in this draft class. Thankfully for the Texans, every position is one of need. Neal is a physical specimen (6-foot-7, 350 pounds) who has improved every season in Tuscaloosa and thrived at both left and right tackle.

USA Today - Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz (1/12)

3. Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

Third-round rookie quarterback Davis Mills' surprising late-season surge left Houston with a degree of sorely needed optimism on another otherwise discouraging roster. Whether it's Mills or another signal-caller who eventually takes the mantle as the Texans' long-term solution, an upgrade in protection will be needed, particularly if the team moves Laremy Tunsil or slides Tytus Howard back to guard. Neal is best known for his massive 6-6, 360-pound build, which helps him plow holes in the run game and neutralize pass rushers. Additional refinement when dealing with counter moves will be required for him to avoid being victimized by the NFL's craftier defensive ends, but he could still be a key piece for the Texans' front.

For The Win - Charles McDonald (1/12)

3. Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU

The Texans are just rolling with the best player on the board. When healthy, Derek Stingley looks like a shutdown cornerback prospect.

The Draft Network - Joe Marino (1/10)

3. Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

Davis Mills has shown plenty of promise during his rookie season in an extremely challenging scenario. That lifts the need for Houston to reach for a quarterback they aren't fully sold on. What Houston does have the need for is good football players and Kyle Hamilton is the best prospect on the board.

I love the idea of Hamilton in Houston, especially because they play in the AFC South where the Titans and Colts are currently the class of the division. Both Houston and Tennessee feature dynamic rushing offenses and Hamilton would be such an asset with his ability to trigger and fit the run from deep alignments in addition to his elite skills in coverage.

MORE TEAMS: All NFL Team Mock Draft Roundups

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