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2023 NFL Draft - Round 1

Source: David Eulitt / Getty

In the days and weeks leading up to the NFL Draft, the prevailing thought about the Houston Texans was they wanted only one quarterback…and it wasn’t the one they drafted.

It was instead the Alabama standout Bryce Young that was the apple of the Texans’ eye. Once the Carolina Panthers traded up with the Chicago Bears for the #1 overall pick, however, the entire conversation in Houston changed.

Everything shifted in different directions ranging from trading the pick to taking Will Anderson Jr. at #2. Regardless of how the reports varied, all of them ended the same way; with Houston passing on a QB at #2 unless Bryce Young was still on the board.

Even the betting markets projected Will Anderson Jr. to be the selection for the Texans at #2. Yet, when the Texans turned in their card last Thursday night it was CJ Stroud of Ohio State chosen.

That wasn’t even close to the end of the story for Houston though. They followed up the selection of Stroud by stunning the NFL world and trading up with the Arizona Cardinals to take Will Anderson Jr. at #3.

The cost? A number of draft picks that included the Texans’ 1st Round pick in 2024…not the Cleveland Browns 2024 1st that Houston also owned from the Deshaun Watson trade.

While it’s hard to project things out with any team, it’s not a big leap to say Houston’s pick next year will once again be a top five selection.

With that pick no longer available for the Texans, they effectively kiss their ticket in the Marvin Harrison Jr. sweepstakes goodbye (as well as their ticket in the Drake Maye / Caleb Williams sweepstakes, if they wanted to move on from Stroud after one season).

Putting the high cost aside, at the end of night one of the 2023 NFL Draft in Kansas City the Houston Texans went to bed thinking they have a franchise QB in Stroud and the next Aaron Donald in Will Anderson Jr.

But what changed for Houston with CJ Stroud and why did they feel Will Anderson Jr. was a can’t miss prospect?

Thursday on The Fan Midday Show we posed those questions to Brooks Kubena, Texans beat writer for the Houston Chronicle.

Brooks also talked with us about:

  • if the Titans reported interested on trading up for Stroud had any impact on the Texans decision
  • why Houston traded way their first round pick next year instead of the Browns first rounder they owned
  • if CJ Stroud will be the starting QB for the Texans Week 1
  • how the Texans are positioned to battle with the rest of the AFC South

Check out our full conversation with Brooks Kubena of the Houston Chronicle below and keep listening to The Fan Midday Show, weekdays 12-3pm Eastern, on The Fan.

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