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Houston Texans Mock Draft Roundup 6.0

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 (4/1)

3. Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

Laremy Tunsil and the Texans agreed to a restructured contract despite speculation earlier this offseason that the two sides could part ways. While there is a potential out in 2023 on Tunsil's contract, the Texans also released Marcus Cannon recently.

Neal started at a different position--left guard and both tackle spots--in each of his three seasons at Alabama. The versatile lineman could immediately bookend Tunsil, allowing the team to kick Tytus Howard inside, and provide the Texans with the long-term upside to start at left tackle should the team change directions next year. The former five-star recruit has size and tremendous power but also the movement skills of a much lighter player.

TRADE - 9. Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

The Seahawks are always willing to move back, but will Nick Caserio be willing to part with an early third-rounder to move up a few spots, given the number of holes on Houston's roster? Not only is Hamilton the best player available, but he also addresses one of the team's bigger needs. With a unique blend of height, length and athleticism, Hamilton has outstanding range, ball production (eight career interceptions) and the traits to neutralize the top pass-catching tight ends in coverage.

CBS Sports - Kyle Stackpole (4/1)

3. Ikem Ekwonu, OT, North Carolina State

Can Davis Mills actually be a viable long-term option in Houston? Part of finding out is making sure he's protected as well as possible, and that wasn't always the case last season. (The Texans allowed 44 sacks, the ninth-highest mark in the NFL.) If the team decides to keep Pro Bowler Laremy Tunsil, having him and Ekwonu as bookends up front would go a long way towards keeping its young quarterback upright.

TRADE - 17. George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue

The Texans could use a high-end edge rusher to pair with Jonathan Greenard, who broke out with nine sacks in his second NFL season. Karlaftis provides Lovie Smith's defense with a technically sound, high-motor player who already has an NFL body to attack opposing tackles.

Yahoo! Sports - Eric Edholm (3/31)

3. Ikem Ekwonu, OT, North Carolina State

The Texans might come down to picking between Ekwonu and Alabama's Evan Neal here, and we truly don't know which way GM Nick Caserio might lean. In the end, we sided with Ekwonu for his run-blocking dominance and his big upside, whereas Neal might be closer to a finished product with a slightly lower ceiling.

13. Jermaine Johnson, EDGE, Florida State

The pick acquired in the Deshaun Watson trade won't be used on a QB, we don't believe, as the Texans will let the Davis Mills experiment play out. There's a decent chance Johnson goes higher than this, but if not, he'd be a great addition to boost the pass rush even more. Trading back is also an option here.

ESPN - Mike Tannenbaum (3/30)

3. Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

I'm not worried about the underwhelming 40-yard dash times he posted at the combine (4.59) and his pro day. Hamilton has rare versatility and traits for a safety, and he'd be an instant-impact player on the back end. Houston needs help everywhere, but considering it tied for the second-most yards allowed per play in the NFL last season (5.9), defense jumps out.

13. Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State

Houston is back on the board thanks to the Deshaun Watson trade, and I'm giving the Texans a smooth-moving pass protector in Cross at No. 13. I drafted Laremy Tunsil in Miami when I was the GM there, and I'm jumping at the chance to draft his bookend on the other side. Cross allowed six pressures on 683 pass-block snaps last season ... in the SEC. That's fantastic. Offensive line is critical for the Texans, after they once again allowed 40-plus sacks last season and are trying to develop second-year QB Davis Mills. Houston should be happy with its Day 1 picks, Hamilton and Cross.

NFL.com - Bucky Brooks (3/29)

3. Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon

The ultra-explosive edge defender with outstanding first-step quickness and snap-count anticipation is exactly what coach Lovie Smith needs to add some sizzle to the Texans' pass rush.

13. Drake London, WR, USC

Adding a No. 1 receiver is critical to the development of a young quarterback. Whether Houston sticks with Davis Mills, drafts a signal-caller this year or adds one down the road, London is a super-sized pass catcher with the length and leaping ability to expand the strike zone for a passer.

The Draft Network - Brentley Weissman (3/28)

3. Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

Houston can go a few different ways here. I could see them going with the best player available, which for me is safety Kyle Hamilton--although positional value makes that unlikely. They could go with an edge defender like Travon Walker here to bolster their defensive line that's lacking talent. Or they could go with one of the tackles as they look to build around their potential quarterback in Davis Mills.

Of all the options, I think going with Alabama's Evan Neal makes the most sense. He is the best tackle in the class with outstanding power, very good athleticism, and will be able to step in and contribute at either left or right tackle.

13. Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU

The Texans have a massive need at corner and arguably the class' best falls to them. Derek Stingley Jr. offers the prototypical size, length, and instincts to be a difference-making defender and high-level cover-man. While his 2020 and 2021 tape left a bit to be desired, there is no denying that his physical attributes and upside will give him an opportunity to be a No. 1 corner at the next level.

The Athletic - Beat Writer Mock (3/28)

3. Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia

Aaron Reiss: After hiring Lovie Smith as head coach, the Texans make a move here to invest in Smith's defense, which he'll continue to call following his promotion from coordinator. Smith prefers rushing four, but the Texans ranked 21st in pressure rate without blitzing (26.7 percent), according to TruMedia. So far, their biggest move along the defensive front has been re-signing defensive tackle Maliek Collins to a sensible two-year deal. Collins and promising young edge rusher Jon Greenard are solid pieces, but the unit needs someone with high enough upside to be a game wrecker. That's Walker.

Brugler: Everything is on the table for the Texans as they rebuild the roster. This pick likely comes down to offensive line or pass rusher. Between Evan Neal, Ickey Ekwonu and Walker, who is the highest-ranked player on their board? With his rare blend of size, length and athleticism, Walker is unique and fits the type of player that both head coach Lovie Smith and general manager Nick Caserio want.

13. Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa

Reiss: The recent restructuring of Laremy Tunsil's contract indicates the left tackle will be with the Texans this season and perhaps for years to come, but help is needed elsewhere. Besides Tunsil, the Texans' other offensive line options are a bunch of short-term solutions and 2019 first-round pick Tytus Howard, who's entering his fourth NFL season without a clear position.

Drafting the 6-foot-7 Penning would likely keep Howard playing inside while the rookie took over at right tackle, where Howard has also started. Howard has fared worse playing inside, but how much of a factor that should be here depends on if he is in Houston's long-term plans. Whether the Texans pick up his fully guaranteed fifth-year option for 2023 will be a good indicator.

Brugler: There simply aren't many 6-7, 325-pound athletes with Penning's level of power, smarts and ruthlessness. Is he still undeveloped in areas? Absolutely, but he is on a clear NFL starting trajectory and has experience at both tackle and guard. Interesting thought exercise: If the Texans knew that Jermaine Johnson would still be available here, would they still go Walker at No. 3? What is the better scenario, Ikem Ekwonu and Johnson or Walker and Penning? Regardless, upgrading on both lines is a smart way to attack the Texans' two first-rounders.

PFF - Austin Gayle (3/28)

3. Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

Failing to clear the 55th percentile among safeties with his 10-yard split (1.58s) and 40-yard dash (4.59s) is more of an indictment on Hamilton's potential to be a track star than an elite football player. He is easily the most versatile player in the 2022 NFL Draft and should be a lock to go inside the first five picks. Per DraftKings, the odds are set at -140 for him to be a top-six pick, and he is currently the media consensus' No. 4 overall player.

Houston is fortunate in that it can't go wrong at No. 3 overall. Bereft of talent at nearly every position, the Texans can afford to draft the best player available at each of their selections in the peak of their rebuild as they navigate the additional three first-round picks they received from the Cleveland Browns in the Deshaun Watson trade.

13. Jordan Davis, IDL, Georgia

Davis is an impact starter right away in the NFL. He won't be coveted for his pass-rushing skill set, but his ability to two-gap in the run game is second to none in this class. He's the exact type of player that allows for NFL defenses to run light boxes without jeopardizing support in run defense, which combats at least some of the concerns surrounding his low snap volume at Georgia and positional value.

MORE TEAMS: All NFL Team Mock Draft Roundups

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