2022 NFL Draft: Potential Day 2 goals for Texans
the 2022 NFL Draft kicks off in just 32 days (give or take a few hours), and after a 4-13 Texans season, Houston fans will surely be looking forward to a draft in which their home team has a first-round pick for only the second time in the game. over the past five years.
After a successful exchange between Deshaun Watson and the Cleveland Browns, many eyes will be focused on who the Texans pick with their No. 3 and No. 13 overall picks on April 28. Today, however, we’ll be focusing on the meat and potatoes of the NFL Draft: Day 2.
Day 2, which contains the second and third rounds of the draft, could arguably be the most important day for a Houston team that is squarely in the midst of a rebuild and has a plethora of roster holes to fill. In a draft where analyst Daniel Jeremiah says the difference between player 15 and player 60 is also “as thin as he remembers“, the Texans could find impact players who could provide valuable playing time outside of the first round.
The second-day draft capital for the Texans sits at three picks: No. 37, No. 68 and No. 80 overall (New Orleans Saints). Today, we’re going to look at three possible player selections Houston could target at each draft slot that could fit the new Lovie Smith/Pep Hamilton regime, and that could help speed up the Boys on Kirby’s rebuilding process.
ROUND 2 – Choice #37 in total:
- Sion Johnson: (OL – Boston College – Senior – 6’3″ – 312 pounds): Johnson is an interior offensive line prospect whose name has risen rapidly since his work ethic and versatility show this year senior bowl. The three-year-old Boston College starter played both tackle and guard in college, but drafts inside at the pro level. He plays with almost dominant force casually in pass protection and led the field in the bench press at the combine with 32 reps of 225 pounds. It would be a slight surprise if he was still on the board at 37, but the possibility is there for a Texas team desperate to revitalize their running offense.
- ByMarvin Leal (DL- Texas A&M – Junior – 6’4″ – 283 pounds): After a year of high production in the SEC (8.5 sacks, 12.5 TFL in 2021), Leal enters the draft as a junior who projects to be a solid fit in the front pair of Lovie Smith (defense 4-3) as a single-spreader defensive tackle or larger defensive end (he lined up at nearly every defensive line position at A&M). If the Texans somehow miss the mark when re-signing Maliek Collins, Leal could be a versatile replacement who can use his athletics and strength to overpower the inside offensive lineman.
- Kenneth Walker III (RB- state of michigan – Junior – 5’9″ – 211 pounds): Walker is a one-year starter for Michigan State who left an RPO heavyweight program at WakeForest to play a starring role for the Spartans, and produced stellar numbers because of it (263 carries – 1,636 yds – 18 TDs in 2021). He plays with flexibility, vision, and home batting ability on any play (his first play at Michigan State was a 75-year-old touchdown). Walker had a strong Combineand could be a return feature for the Texans.
ROUND 3 – Choice #68 in total:
- Brece Hall (RB- Iowa State – Junior – 5’11” – 217 pounds): Under Pep Hamilton, there has been speculation that the Texans will favor a power-run scheme more than a zone scheme, and Breece Hall fits solidly into that projection as a strong and powerful downhill runner who also has escape velocity. Hall averaged 5.8 yards/rush at Iowa State in 2021 and set the NCAA record for most consecutive games with a rushing touchdown (24 games). He also has a third back ability with hands above average and production reception (36 rec – 303 yards – 3 TDs in 2021).
- Chad Muma (LB – Wyoming – Senior – 6’3″ – 242 lbs): This Wyoming product played inside linebacker for the Cowboys as a defensive play caller, and had a high-production breakout year in 2021 (142 tkl – 3 int – 1.5 sacks). He is a solid tackler and takes blocks with pop at this point of attack which displays his game strength (27 reps of 225 at the combine). Muma played as one of two standing supports in Nickel’s defense, and would plan to play in subsets or as a SAM support initially where he can attack off-tackle runs or cover bigger tight ends in the defense of Lovie Smith.
- Tariq wool (CB – UTSA – RS Senior – 6’3″ – 205 pounds): An intriguing combination of size and speed, Tariq Woolen has an athletic profile that NFL teams dream of for an outside corner. His combine test numbers lived up to the hype, as Woolen ran an official 4.26 in the 40-yard dash and made a 42-inch vertical leap. His skills are still raw, as he only played corner for two years and played against competitions at smaller schools (UTSA). He would probably need development in the first year to contribute as a starter, but his unteachable traits give him a very high ceiling as a draft for man and area drafts.
ROUND 3 – Pick No. 80
- Calvin Austin III (WR – Memphis – RS Senior – 5’8″ – 170 lbs): Calvin Austin III is a small slot receiver with lightning speed who also flew on drawing boards after being practically uncontrollable at the 2022 Senior Bowl. Austin is a nightmare for defensive backs in both road running and post-catch ability. While his size might raise questions, a Texas passing game that seeks to rely on creating game problems could benefit from a slot receiver who threatens to overtake every defense while portraying himself as a threat of possession in soft zone coverage.
- Greg Dulcich (TE- UCLA – Senior – 6’4″ – 243 pounds): Dulcich is an athletic tight end who could be used in multiple end sets, and even out of the backfield as a game nightmare for defenses. He had high production at UCLA during his junior and senior years (68 REC combined – 1242 yds – 10 TD) averaging 18.0 yards/reception during his college career (3rd highest for a TE at the combine since 2003). Solid size and big grip radius make Dulcich a fit in a Texas offense that wants to run multi-tight bits and create gaps.
- sam williams (EDGE – Ole Miss– Senior – 6’4″ – 261 lbs): Sam Williams was a JUCO transfer to Ole Miss from Northeast Mississippi Community College, and played three years for the Rebels. Williams took advantage of his extra year of transfer portal eligibility in 2021 and it resulted in his most productive year (15 TFL – 12.5 SK) as a 4-3 defensive end. A second-team All-American candidate for Walter Camp, Williams excels in press the ferryman when using speed on the edge, and can sometimes gain by converting into counter moves inside. He would need development against the running game, but has flashes of building solid advantages. With the DE position opposed to breakout Jonathan Greenard in the air, the Texans will have to evaluate draft candidates at EDGE with an emphasis on adding a new face.