Skip to main content

Best Player in Draft Headed to Houston?

NFL Draft guru Mel Kiper has Houston Texans selecting potential "15-year starter"

As sure as the sun will rise, NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper will release mock drafts. And with his first of 2022, Kiper has the Houston Texans going for arguably the best player available.

In this mock with the third overall pick (assuming they don't trade up/down), Houston takes Alabama 6-7, 350-pound left tackle Evan Neal.

The bright spot, of course, was the improvement of rookie third-round pick Davis Mills, who played his way into potentially being the opening-day starting quarterback in 2022, but the Texans have holes all over their roster. I think they'd take Aidan Hutchinson or Kayvon Thibodeaux here if either fell out of the top two, but Neal could be a 15-year starter at tackle or guard; he played both at Alabama before settling in at left tackle. Houston has Laremy Tunsil at that spot, but a thumb injury forced him out of 12 games this season. General manager Nick Caserio & Co. could take Neal and figure out his best position later, not unlike what the Lions did with Penei Sewell in the 2021 draft. - Mel Kiper, ESPN.

Given that near enough all positions could be seen as "positions of need," Texans general manager Nick Caserio has the luxury of simply focusing on the best player available. Not to mention that Houston's offensive line allowed 44 sacks this year, and had a big part to play in their rushing offense ranking last in the NFL.

Neal's arrival would also allow Tytus Howard to move back to right tackle, where he has looked far more at ease during his three years in Houston. 

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Kenyon Green

Houston Texans BREAKING: Kenyon Green Signs Fully-Guaranteed Rookie Contract

Said Fisher: "He checks all the boxes. You combine that with great athletic ability and you have a great player. I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t have an unbelievable career in pro football.”


'Professional' Pitre: New Texans Rookie Locked In to NFL Process

Houston's new rookie is already buying into Lovie Smith's system

Dameon Pierce

Lovie's Expectations For 'Unique' Texans Rookie RB

Lovie Smith addressed the Houston Texans' running back group and his expectations of rookie Dameon Pierce.

John Metchie III

Texans Sign WR John Metchie III To Rookie Deal

The Texans have locked up their second round wide receiver pick to a four-year deal.

Lovie Smith

Texans At Bears: Lovie's 'Special' Return

Lovie Smith returns to Chicago in Week 3 for the first time at the Texans coach.

John Metchie III

Texans Rookie WR John Metchie III Will Play In 2022, No Timetable On Return

There is no timetable on when John Metchie III will return to play, but the Houston Texans are expecting to have their rookie wide receiver on the field at some point during the season.


Lovie Smith Leads Texans Day 1 Of Rookie Minicamp

The Houston Texans held their first day of rookie minicamp with coach Lovie Smith at the helms.


Former Texas A&M WR Quartney Davis Tries Out For Texans

Former A&M top receiver Quartney Davis will try to make the Houston Texans' 90-man roster

Nick Caserio

A starting lineup including Tunsil, Neal and Howard would be a solid foundation to build from and provide some consistent protection to allow Mills to continue his growth.

Alternatively, the Texans could look to move on from Tunsil in order to free up some of the $52.9 million in cap hit he's due over the next two years. 

This would allow Neal and Howard to develop into the long-term answers either as bookends to this line or a solid left side.

Either way, this would be a welcome move for Mills or the next Houston quarterback.