Round 1: Pick 23 – Nasir Adderley – S – Delaware
Adderley can play either corner or safety, but I think the Texans will like his instincts and ball skills at corner, where he has starting experience as well. I originally had DeAndre Baker at pick 23—and he’s still in play here—but after the retirement of Andre Hal, drafting a more versatile defensive back would be wise. At worst, Adderley could play as the third safety in nickel packages or the third corner behind Johnathan Joseph and Bradley Roby. Houston would love his versatility, which is why he’s my pick here.
Round 2: Pick 54 – Tytus Howard – T – Alabama State
6’5’’ with 34 inch arms, Howard is built the way Houston likes their offensive lineman. Pick 54 might be a reach here, but Howard’s upside as a potential starter at tackle is far ahead of guys like Kaleb McGary and David Edwards. A former high school quarterback, Howard would bring the Texans an athlete on the line for the first time since Duane Brown’s departure. If Howard can add muscle to his frame and upper-body strength, he could become a long-term starter at tackle for the Texans.
Round 2: Pick 55 – Mecole Hardman – WR – Georgia
This years wide receiver class is deeper than people think. Taking a wide receiver at pick 55 may seem like a luxury, but Will Fuller is coming off a torn ACL and Keke Coutee struggled with injuries throughout his rookie campaign. Add on the departure of Demaryius Thomas, and you can see the Texans need to add a playmaker on offense. Enter Mecole Hardman. Hardman will almost certainly be a day-two pick after running a 4.33 second 40-yard-dash at the combine. If Coutee and Fuller are even half-way healthy in 2019, Hardman will be able to develop as a receiver—a position he has been playing for only two seasons. Despite his inexperience, the Texans offense is predicated on speed, and Hardman would be a perfect fit and early contributor on special teams as a gunner.
Round 3: Pick 86 – Michael Jordan – IOL – Ohio State
I’m not a fan of anyone on the Texans interior line. Nick Martin may be the best offensive lineman that Houston has, but he’s nearing free agency and has underwhelmed for a second round pick. Zach Fulton wasn’t worth the money the Texans gave him a year ago, and Senio Kelemete flopped in his first year as a starter. Michael Jordan can play center or either guard spot. Drafting an interior offensive lineman early in the draft would be wise, as the Texans consistently gave up pressure from the inside a season ago. With Martinas Rankin potentially holding down one of the guard spots, Jordan can take over the other or spend a year behind Nick Martin before taking over.