Coming off an 9–7 campaign, the Texans are looking to take another step forward going into the 2017 season. How will they use their picks in the NFL draft? Our draft expert Chris Burke is breaking down every selection below.
Here's the full list of picks the Texans hold in the 2017 draft, which will be updated as each selection is made.
Round 1, Pick 12 (No. 12 overall, via trade with Cleveland Browns):
Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson: Three quarterbacks in the top 12, three pricey trades up for the teams that took them. For the Texans to get from No. 25 to here, the cost was that 25th pick plus a 2018 first-rounder. Remember, the Browns already own Houston’s 2018 second-rounder, as part of the Brock Osweiler salary dump. But the Texans could not carry a playoff-ready roster into next season with Tom Savage and Brandon Weeden manning the QB depth chart. Watson threw too many interceptions in college and he’ll need time to transition into Bill O’Brien’s offense, but he is the most talented quarterback there by a wide margin. This has to work, because the Texans mortgaged their ‘18 draft to solve a mess of their own creation. GRADE: A-
Round 2, Pick 25 (No. 57)
Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt: Finally. Cunningham should not have made it this far, plain and simple. The knock on him has been his ability to wrap, which will have to be more consistent at the next level for him to remain a 100-tackle defender. The Texans already have Brian Cushing and Bernardick McKinney inside, where Cunningham will have to play in their 3-4. Does this pick signal an impending end of the line for Cushing’s Texans career? Grade: A
Round 3, Pick 25 (No. 89)
D'Onta Foreman, RB, Texas: Bill O’Brien has said he wants to lighten Lamar Miller’s workload some this season, and Foreman absolutely will help do that. He’s a big back who runs like a small back—the cutting ability and speed could help him churn out yards in that Houston scheme. Grade: B+
Round 4, Pick 24 (No. 130)Julién Davenport, OT, Bucknell
Round 4, Pick 36 (No. 142) Carlos Watkins, DT, Clemson
Round 5, Pick 25 (No. 169) Treston Decoud, S, Oregon State
Round 7, Pick 25 (No. 243) Kyle Fuller, C, Baylor