Rating of Todd McShay’s fictional draft in early 2023

It’s never too early to make projections when the name of the game is making projections.

The dust has settled on the 2022 NFL Draft, and the Texans’ draft has been relatively well received. A rejuvenated secondary, additional talent on the offensive line and several new playmakers on offense mark impressive class.

Even so, there is significant room for improvement. In ESPN’s Todd McShay’s 2023 Mock Draft, the Texans are expected to hold the No. 1 overall pick. It would be the first time since 2014 that the Texans had the first pick and the fourth time in franchise history.

With the first pick of the 2023 NFL Draft from the Houston Texans, Todd McShay predicts…

1. Houston TexansC.J. StroudQB, Ohio State*

Texans believe in strategist Davis Mills, but if they end up picking No. 1 next April, something has gone terribly wrong for Mills in his sophomore season. Stroud has a big arm, completing 71.9% of his passes for 4,435 yards, 44 touchdowns and just six interceptions in 2021. The third-year sophomore only has 12 career starts, though, so all eyes will be on. on him this season.

Bryce Young won the Heisman Trophy last season and almost obtained Alabama to another national championship. Even so, CJ Stroud is the most pro-ready QB in this class and the immediate starter at the next level. There is a three-headed horse for the first overall pick; Stroud, Bryce Young and DE Will Anderson. For McShay, if the Texans end up with the first choice, it is probably due to a disastrous season with Davis Mills at the helm. This upcoming class should have a lot more QB talent than the one that happened, but we thought the same as we approached the 2022 class before the season started.

Additionally, the Texans hold Cleveland’s first-round pick in the Watson trade.

23. Houston Texans (by KEY) – BJ OjulariDE, USL*

We already have a quarterback in Houston, so how about a top rusher for the defense under new coach Lovie Smith? I love the burst and curvature of Ojulari.

The Texans passed on a pass rusher this year but won’t get away with it for two straight seasons. In the 23rd, McShay projects the Cleveland Browns to make the Wild Card round of the playoffs. The sooner the better for the Texans. Ojulari recorded seven sacks for the Tigers last season. Don’t be surprised if the Texans drop that pick to stock up on later and future picks. Plus, they’ll avoid a lot of fifth-year option trouble later with their first six rounds in three years.

I imagine these two drafts fit together like a puzzle. The positions they reprioritized in 2022 will be accentuated in 2023. The Texans enter next year’s draft with a roster similar to this year’s draft: first-two, two-thirds and plenty of third-day picks.


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