Despite the 2021 NFL Draft barely having finished, it's never too early to look to the future. And the immediate future is bleak, according to ESPN, FOX and Pro Football Focus' 2022 mock drafts … which all have the Houston Texans selecting first overall.
It's bothersome to see the national media have so little faith in the Texans heading into what will (apparently) be a miserable 2021 season. But … we get it.
Starting with ESPN, Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr. both have the Texans selecting Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux.
"At 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, Thibodeaux is an extraordinary pass-rusher off the edge," said Kiper Jr, per PFT. "Over 21 career games, he has 12 sacks and 23.5 tackles for loss, and the 2019 No. 1 recruit generated pressure on 13.5% of his pass-rush snaps over the past two seasons, the 18th-best rate in the country. Following J.J. Watt's exit, the Texans could use a player with Thibodeaux's high-end traits to jump-start their defense in their rebuild."
The prospect of seeing Thibodeaux lining up opposite Texans defensive end Shaq Lawson in 2022 is certainly an exciting one. But, of course, this pick would imply that either Houston is confident that this year's third-round selection quarterback Davis Mills proves to be a success, or that Deshaun Watson remains a Texan beyond this season.
"Deshaun Watson wants out, and the Texans might be inclined to finally give him what he wants, given recent off-the-field issues around the franchise QB. It's time to go looking for another one," said Mike Renner of PFF.
"Rattler is the best quarterback in this draft, but he’ll have to prove it in a year when Oklahoma is built to win its first national title in more than 20 years."
"With a season that ends with an invitation to the Heisman ceremony, there’s little doubt that Rattler will be the first quarterback off the board."
Again, this pick is dependent on the outcome of Watson's lawsuits and trade request, as well as Mills' rookie season.
Regardless, this is all conjecture and only time will tell when and who the Texans pick in a year's time. That being said... the consensus isn't filling anyone with optimism for this season … albeit with excitement once next April rolls around.
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