NFL Mock Draft: Will Houston Texans Surprise On Day 2?

With the NFL Draft less than three weeks away, which scenarios for the Houston Texans make the most sense?
Texas Longhorns defensive lineman T'Vondre Sweat (93) watches Washington quarterback Michael Penix
Texas Longhorns defensive lineman T'Vondre Sweat (93) watches Washington quarterback Michael Penix / Aaron E. Martinez / USA TODAY NETWORK
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The 2024 NFL Draft is quickly approaching. After an offseason filled to the brim already with game-changing moves, how will they address the draft? Stefon Diggs and Danielle Hunter were massive additions to Houston’s roster, but there’s still work to be done.

Let’s dive into a mock draft conducted by NFL.com's Chad Reuter showcasing what the Texans need to improve on their roster.

42 — Cam Hart, CB, Notre Dame

Even with multiple adds to their secondary, Houston dips back into arguably this year’s most loaded position at cornerback. Wide receiver and offensive tackle are getting plenty of publicity, in terms of overall depth. Still, starter-quality prospects at cornerback can be found well into the middle rounds.

Notre Dame’s Cam Hart checks so many boxes for what head coach DeMeco Ryans is looking to implement further within his defense. A Senior Bowl standout with elite leadership traits, Hart is a culture-setter Houston seeks out.

“Traits-based cornerback with an impressive blend of size and athleticism that could lead teams to project what he could be rather than what he is,” NFL.com's Lance Zierlein wrote. “Hart’s size advantage shows up when he's getting after receivers from press, but he doesn't always play big when it comes to run support and attacking the catch point... There are pieces missing from the puzzle, but cornerbacks with his traits tend to improve in the league with scheme consideration.”

While Hart might be viewed as a surprise selection at No. 42, he certainly qualifies as a Texans-type pick.

Feb 29, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Texas defensive lineman T'Vondre Sweat (DL25) works out during
Feb 29, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Texas defensive lineman T'Vondre Sweat (DL25) works out during / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

59 — T’Vondre Sweat, DT, Texas

Houston finally gets a potentially game-changing space eater for the middle of their defensive line. Although Sweat was recently arrested for DWI, which could seriously impact his stock, on-field the fit for Sweat is there.

Sweat is a massive space-eater whose size and skill set will have him plugged into a role as a run-plugger for odd or even-front defenses,” Zierein wrote on Sweat. “He offers more rush than expected for a man his size and could play more snaps than most at his position. Sweat’s area of impact will be narrowly focused, but it could create a much larger impact on the defense overall.”

The name of the game nowadays is to have as much depth as possible in the trenches on both sides of the football. Houston must continue fortifying the offensive and defensive lines, which Sweat would accomplish.

Mar 1, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Ohio State tight end Cade Stover (TE14) works out during the
Mar 1, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Ohio State tight end Cade Stover (TE14) works out during the / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

86 — Cade Stover, TE, Ohio State

A tight end in the third round for Houston, even after re-signing Dalton Schultz to a multi-year extension? It might seem confusing at first, but the Texans’ offense falls right into the San Francisco 49ers playbook utilizing multiple tight end sets often. Schultz and Cade Stover as a tight-end duo for C.J. Stroud to work with isn’t a bad idea, especially factoring in the Ohio State connection here.

“Catch first, block second tight end whose jump in play as a receiving threat is going to be hard to ignore,” Zeirlein wrote. “Stover is a tight end conversion from the defensive side of the ball... He’s an upside prospect with the potential to play in-line or flexed out and should become a productive starter within a couple of years.”

Another weapon for Stroud, potentially? Sure, why not.

The first round of the NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday, April 25 at 7 pm CT.


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Mike Fisher

MIKE FISHER