The 2023 NFL Draft has officially wrapped and the Houston Texans had themselves a weekend. After the last few seasons, the team has faced massive uncertainty as they searched for a direction. Since the hire of Head Coach DeMeco Ryans, the draft has become the best (and maybe last) time to strike while the iron is hot.
How did Coach Ryans and Nick Caserio fare?
They just turned our franchise completely around. Finding a pillar for each side of the ball and sprinkling in key pieces in the later rounds. The Houston Texans now have a path.
Here are the picks:
1 (2) QB C.J. Stroud – Ohio State University
The Houston Texans have selected Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud in the 2023 NFL Draft. Stroud is mostly viewed as the second best at his position this year and it’s clear why. He has garnered Third-team All American and Second-team All American selections while producing eye-popping numbers. On top of that, he posted a 21-4 record as a starter for the Buckeyes.
NFL Comparison: Matt Ryan
Questions have arose concerning C.J. Stroud’s ability to process and read defenses. All and all, Stroud’s mechanics and ball placement are his biggest strengths. He has been lauded for his accuracy and the numbers show up big time.
One of Stroud’s biggest green flags until this point is his Georgia tape. He flashed and flourished against the number one team in the nation and very nearly pulled off the upset. It showed his poise in a big game moment while playing against a big time opponent.
C.J. Stroud has a great chance to flourish in a west coast offense given that he makes very little mistakes and shows sneaky mobility. Offensive Coordinator Bobby Slowik will have a great time grooming this potential stud.
Welcome to the Texans, C.J. Stroud!
1 (3) OLB Will Anderson Jr. – University of Alabama
With the 3rd pick of the 2023 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans have selected Alabama Crimson Tide star Will Anderson Jr. Anderson is a top defensive prospect with many even saying he is the top player overall. With two SEC Defensive Player of the Year awards and two unanimous All-American Team selections, he joins Houston and former Alabama Crimson Tide star DeMeco Ryans as a potential defensive cornerstone for years to come.
NFL Comparison: Von Miller
Will Anderson Jr. has drawn comparisons of Von Miller as a can’t miss defensive force. He has displayed NFL athleticism and size in the SEC all while becoming a feared factor. His strengths are overwhelming as they range from his deadly quickness/power to his intangibles as a leader and teammate.
Anderson will gel well with Head Coach DeMeco Ryan’s defensive style and culture with the potential of achieving star status. He looks to eventually become an elite defender and perhaps one of the faces of the Houston Texans organization.
This pick was predicted by many and seems to be a match made in Heaven. Especially considering the Texan’s history of drafting pass rushers in the first round.
Welcome to Houston, Will Anderson Jr!
2 (31) C Juice Scruggs – Penn State
The Houston Texans have selected Penn State Center Juice Scruggs in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft. Scruggs has been very valuable in his collegiate career and has even earned himself a Third-team All-Big Ten selection.
Juice Scruggs has excelled in one-on-one matchups in the run game and has great hands. He is a great fit for the Texan’s offense with an emphasis on run game.
Scruggs has excelled has a leader and teammate. Though he has a 3-4 round grade, the Texans immediately fill a hole in the offensive line that will help C.J. Stroud.
Welcome to the Texans, Juice Scruggs.
3 (6) WR Tank Dell – University of Houston
The Houston Texans have selected University of Houston wide receiver Tank Dell in the 2023 NFL Draft. Dell has been a standout player for the Houston Cougars for many reasons. He has produced eye popping numbers while earning two First Team All-AAC selections.
Tank Dell has been touted as one of the best route runners in this class. His route tree is highly impressive while displaying great hands and fluid speed.
His size is a question mark, but Dell being a hometown talent will surely be interesting. He will immediately fill a need and give C.J. Stroud more support.
Welcome to the Texans, Tank Dell!
4 (7) DE Dylan Horton – Texas Christian University
The Houston Texans have selected TCU defensive end Dylan Horton in the 2023 NFL Draft. Horton is an athletic prospect who was valuable for TCU’s National Championship Appearance. He had impressive numbers for his final collegiate year.
Dylan Horton has very good potential in this league. The grade reflects the value now, but Horton’s value more than likely will explode under Head Coach DeMeco Ryan’s influence. He his a gritty, athletic player could make an immediate impact his rookie season.
Though Horton mostly has a round 5 grade, he has great upside and helps the newly installed pass rush. He could use some development in run game, but overall Horton has great power that can bully offensive linemen.
Welcome to the Texans, Dylan Horton.
5 (33) LB Henry To’oTo’o – University of Alabama
The Houston Texans have selected Alabama linebacker Henry To’oTo’o in the 2023 NFL Draft. To’oTo’o has been extremely efficient in his collegiate career and contributed to a lot of success at Alabama. He has earned two Second-team All-SEC selections and earned a First-team All-SEC in his final season.
Henry To’oTo’o is a great value pick in the 5th round. He is an extremely instinctive player who performs at a good technical level. To’oTo’o has fantastic leadership qualities and intangibles. This will be a great fit in the locker room.
To’oTo’o has a great chance to be a day 1 starter while paired with former teammate Christian Harris. They will form a formidable tandem in the defense that will develop quickly.
Welcome to the Texans, Henry To’oTo’o!
6 (24) OL Jarrett Patterson – Notre Dame
The Houston Texans have selected Notre Dame offensive linemen Jarrett Patterson in the 2023 NFL Draft. Patterson has been a very efficient piece for the Fighting Irish as he has allowed ZERO sacks in his collegiate career. Patterson has also earned a Third-team All-ACC selection,
Jarrett Patterson is a leader and team captain at heart. Though he is limited at times with his athleticism, he is technical and gritty. Patterson is a true competitor with great hands.
Patterson will provide depth at the line and one day can be a starter. This great value in the 6th round.
Welcome to the Texans, Jarrett Patterson!
6 (28) WR Xavier Hutchinson – Iowa State
The Houston Texans have selected Iowa State wide receiver Xavier Hutchinson in the 2023 NFL Draft. Hutchinson has performed at a very high level in the Big 12 and produced big numbers. He earned a First-team All-American selection while winning First-team All Big 12 honors three seasons in a row.
Another great value pick for the Texans. Xavier Hutchinson brings a lot of size and big play ability to this offense. He has shown he is very consistent and reliable. Hutchinson is also a great leader while bringing great quickness.
Questions about his production against Big 12 opponents have been brought up. Nonetheless, Xavier Hutchinson can develop and flourish into an extremely serviceable weapon.
Welcome to the Texans, Xavier Hutchinson!
7 (31) DB Brandon Hill – University of Pittsburgh
The Houston Texans have selected Pittsburgh safety Brandon Hill in the 2023 NFL Draft. Hill has been a very valuable player for Pitt as he has earned a Second-team All-ACC selection in 2021.
While safety may not be a huge hole for the Texans, Brandon Hill provides depth at the backend and can display versatility. Hill has great athleticism and has shown he can be physical in the open field.
Questions about his awareness have been brought up, but Brandon Hill is a great value in round 7. He can offer his athleticism and physicality to special teams until he gets significant time on the defensive side.
Welcome to the Texans, Brandon Hill!
A lot to love here!
The Houston Texans have finally found their franchise quarterback while also obtaining a new defensive cornerstone. All the picks after that have great value and can be impactful this season.
What a way to win the fans back over. The Houston Football Texans now have a clear direction. Especially considering more than half of the picks were team captains.
The blueprint and plan is unfolding right in front of us. The rebuild has come to a point and purpose with key components. Welcome to the new age Texans.