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Houston Texans Mock Draft Roundup 4.0

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:

SI - Kevin Hanson (2/17)

3. Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon

The Texans can go in a few different directions here, but only four teams had fewer sacks than Houston (32) in 2021. Jonathan Greenard (eight sacks) had a breakout sophomore campaign, but the team's other players with at least three sacks in '21 will either be free agents (Jacob Martin and Kamu Grugier-Hill) or were released midseason (Whitney Mercilus). An ankle injury may have slowed Thibodeaux early in the season, but the former top high school recruit has the size, length and burst to form a talented pass-rushing duo with Greenard.

Yahoo! Sports - Eric Edholm (2/17)

3. Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon

For now, the Texans' edge-rusher need looms large. They were closer to the bottom of the league in pressure rates and could use a jack-of-all-trades defender to pair up front with Jonathan Greenard. Thibodeaux can win in the same ways Whitney Mercilus did years ago.

Draft Wire - Luke Easterling (2/17)

3. Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

The Lovie Smith era starts with a defensive stud here, though passing on Kayvon Thibodeaux might raise some eyebrows. Yes, pass rushers tend to be valued more highly than safeties, but Hamilton is simply the better overall prospect, and has the skill set to impact the game in just as many ways.

ESPN - Todd McShay (2/16)

3. Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

The Texans can go a lot of different ways here. Do they take NC State offensive tackle Ikem Ekwonu? I thought about it, because they allowed 40 sacks in 2021 (tied for 11th most), but Laremy Tunsil is still locking down the left tackle spot, and there are other holes. One of them is edge rush, where they still haven't replaced J.J. Watt and have struggled to get to the quarterback. Oregon's Kayvon Thibodeaux could make sense. But in the end, I gave Houston the third-best player on my board in Hamilton.

Houston's secondary has been abysmal -- it gave up 8.0 yards allowed per pass (tied for last) -- and Justin Reid is a free agent. Hamilton is a unique talent with an incredible combination of size, speed, strength and ball skills. GM Nick Caserio needs foundational stars in this Texans rebuild, and Hamilton has the versatility to impact multiple areas of new coach Lovie Smith's defense. He'd be the sixth defensive back taken in the top three since 1967, with Lions cornerback Jeff Okudah (2020) being the most recent.

Fox Sports - Rob Rang (2/16)

3. Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon

Inconsistent or not, Thibodeaux won't have to wait long before hearing his name called in this draft -- edge rushers rank behind only quarterbacks in terms of importance.

Speaking of QBs, if there were a bankable star in this class, Houston might nab him here. But the defensive-minded Lovie Smith will recognize Thibodeaux's upside and push to make the native Texan Houston's top choice.

USA Today - Nate Davis (2/15)

3. Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

There's no telling what this team will do given the constant churn of players and coaches. This selection marks only the second time Houston has had a first-round slot since selecting QB Deshaun Watson 12th overall in 2017 -- though a change in his status this year promises to entirely change the calculus of the Texans' draft strategy. All that aside, Hamilton -- his 6-4, 220-pound frame is atypical of his position -- would be a worthy pick, able to cover, blitz, hit and generally serve as the multi-faceted chess piece so many defensive coordinators (or new head coach Lovie Smith, in this case) covet these days. Back line play was one of Houston's numerous weaknesses in 2021, and S Justin Reid, a four-year starter, is headed to free agency.

The Ringer - Danny Kelly (2/15)

3. Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon

The Texans need help just about everywhere, but with both Jacob Martin and Maliek Collins slated for free agency, the team's defensive line is looking particularly thin. That makes Thibodeaux the easy choice here: He's explosive and versatile and gives new head coach Lovie Smith some star power at a huge position of need. Pair him up with Jonathan Greenard, who played well in 2021, and the Texans could have the start of a solid defensive front.

The Draft Scout - Matt Miller (2/14)

3. Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

The Texans are in a tough spot with a draft board that doesn't match their team needs--which makes them an interesting candidate to trade out of this spot. If they stay put, Kyle Hamilton is a very nice piece they can build around. Talking to some scouts and coaches, there are many teams that have him ranked as the best overall player in the draft class.

NFL.com - Chad Reuter (2/14)

TRADE - 6. Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon

If the Texans believe Davis Mills is as good as any of the quarterbacks available in this draft, then perhaps they'll accept a trade offer. In this case, the Panthers send their 2023 first-rounder and a fourth-round selection to Houston to move up. The Texans are still able to secure much-needed defensive help in the form of a difference-making edge rusher.

PFF - Mike Renner (2/14)

3. Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

The Texans go for the proverbial 10-year starter in Neal, who can pair up with Laremy Tunsil to protect whoever lines up behind center in Houston next season. The 6-foot-7, 350-pounder started at right tackle in 2020, so the transition should be seamless.

MORE TEAMS: All NFL Team Mock Draft Roundups

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