If you ask NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah, it's taking the best player available and building around them for the long-term. Of course, who would that player be when looking at the giant big board.
In his first postseason mock draft, Jeremiah has the Texans going defense at No. 3, but perhaps not the player many believed would the right fit. Despite Oregon pass rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux being on the board for the taking, Jeremiah has Houston passing on him to select Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton instead.
"Hamilton feels like the “Patriot pick” for NE South. He's big, fast, versatile and smart. Those characteristics are highly valued in New England, where Texans GM Nick Caserio spent two decades honing his craft." Daniel Jeremiah
Hamilton is regarded as the top safety in the 2022 class despite being limited to only seven games. A fluid athlete that can play both the run and pass, the junior is hybrid player that hits like a linebacker but has the range of a cornerback in coverage.
The Texans will be looking to upgrade at safety after insufficient play in 2021. Veteran standout Justin Reid is expected to test free agency following a down final season under new defensive coordinator Lovie Smith. Eric Murray, who enters the final year of his three-year deal, could be viewed as a cap casualty.
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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.”
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Hamilton fits a need for Houston and would be a pick the fan base could get behind for the foreseeable future. Overall concerns have little to do with Hamilton as a player, but rather his position.
Since 2000, only eight safeties have been selected inside the top 10, with three being selected top five. Jamal Adams, who currently is a member of the Seattle Seahawks, was last drafted sixth overall in 2017 and was panned by critics due to his man coverage skills coming out of LSU.
The Texans will not limit themselves to selecting third overall come April. In a recent interview on Sports Radio 610, Caserio said that the team would look be willing to listen to offers and trade back for the right value.
"Trades specific to the draft are always driven by A) player availability, B) where are you moving and what are you moving away from, and C) what are you getting in return in terms of assets that could potentially fill out the rest of your team," Caserio said. "We’re rolling up our sleeves going through that draft process.
"We’re open for business on anything.”