Houston Texans Third Round Pick Named As Player Who Could Earn Key Role in 2024

Houston Texans Third Round Pick Named As Player Who Could Earn Key Role in 2024
Nov 27, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA;  Southern California Trojans safety Calen Bullock (27) celebrates in the second half against the BYU Cougars in the second half at United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 27, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Southern California Trojans safety Calen Bullock (27) celebrates in the second half against the BYU Cougars in the second half at United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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The NFL Draft features a ton of collegiate talent making its way into the league. Those who are drafted in the first round typically expect to start and play key roles on their new team. However, there are players drafted throughout rounds 2-7 who can play pivotal roles in their team's plans for the season.

The Houston Texans didn't have a first-round draft pick in 2024, but they did round out the draft strongly through the rest of the rounds. When examining the Texans' draftees, CBS Sports chose one of their third-round draft picks as a player who could earn a key role on the team in 2024—former USC safety Calen Bullock, who was taken 78th overall.

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"Bullock was probably the best pure free safety in the 2024 class. Floated to the football repeatedly and demonstrated tremendous ball skills after zeroing in on where the pass was headed. Now he's not going to be a force against the run, but the Texans could use more turnover-creation on a defense that only had eight interceptions in 2023, which tied for the second-lowest in football.

Jimmie Ward has long been a fun, reasonably reliable safety-slot cornerback. Bullock, at a unique, 6-foot-2 and 188 pounds with 4.45 speed can bring a new, faster element to that position for Houston."

Interestingly, they would go with Bullock here, as second-round picks cornerback Kamari Lassiter will likely have more prominent roles within the grand scheme of things for Houston.

Either way, Bullock could push veteran Jimmie Ward for playing time or even the starting spot, as his play is steady but not at the playmaking level. Bullock, on the other hand, has shown a knack for being around the ball and creating plays from the safety position; he collected a total of 150 tackles over three seasons at USC, nine interceptions—two returned for touchdowns—and 15 passes defended.


READ MORE: Texans' Stefon Diggs Reflects on Relationship With Bills' QB Josh Allen

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Caleb Skinner

CALEB SKINNER

Caleb is from Nashville, TN, and graduated from Florida State University in 2018 with majors in Sociology and History. He has previously written for an FSU outlet and started covering the Buccaneers in March of 2022 while co-hosting the Hear the Cannons podcast. He expanded his role with GamedayMedia by covering the Houston Texans and Washington Commanders in April of 2024. You can follow Caleb on Twitter @chsnole