Going into the NFL Draft, there were few teams that had as big of a question at quarterback as the Indianapolis Colts. Their divisional rival, the Houston Texans, were one of those teams. Much like the Colts and the sudden retirement of Andrew Luck, the Texans had been stuck with less-than-ideal options at quarterback since Deshaun Watson demanded a trade following the 2020 season. Also much like the Colts, the Texans had more needs than just under center that needed to be addressed.
Here is a look at the Texans 2023 draft class:
- 1 (2) Ohio St. QB C.J Stroud
- 1 (3) Alabama EDGE Will Anderson Jr.
- 2 (62) Penn St. C Juice Scruggs
- 3 (69) Houston WR Tank Dell
- 4 (109) TCU DE Dylan Horton
- 5 (167) Alabama LB Henry To’Oto’o
- 6 (201) Notre Dame C Jarrett Patterson
- 6 (205) Iowa St. WR Xavier Hutchinson
- 7 (248) Pitt DB Brandon Hill
Obviously, the headliners of this draft class are C.J Stroud and Will Anderson, taken back-to-back at 2nd and 3rd overall respectively. Stroud was heavily debated as a potential 1st overall selection for the Panthers, while Anderson was considered the best defensive player in the draft in terms of both on and off the field makeup. It was an incredibly bold move to trade back up to 3rd overall, but, if both choices pan out, the Texans could have secured their offensive and defensive centerpieces for potentially the next decade. If that happens, no one will remember how much the Texans gave up making the move.
Beyond the 2 marquee selections, the Texans added some more protection and weapons for their new quarterback in center Juice Scruggs and wide receiver Tank Dell. In fact, almost immediately after being drafted, Stroud told the Texans that he wanted them to draft Dell, who put up back to back 1,300 yard seasons for Houston; clearly, they listened. They would also add some depth for the defensive line, linebacking core, and defensive backfield with the selections of Dylan Horton, Henry To’Oto’o, and Brandon Hill respectively. Rounding out the draft is Notre Dame center Jarrett Patterson and Iowa State receiver Xavier Hutchinson. The 6’3″ Hutchinson is an entirely different body type than the 5’8″ Dell, and had over 1,000 yards receiving last season for the Cyclones.
The additions of Stroud and Anderson will be what define this draft class for the Texans. With both the Colts and the Titans also taking quarterbacks, and with former first overall pick Trevor Lawrence on the rise in Jacksonville, the ability to keep pace on offense and get a stop on defense in key situations will be paramount. If Stroud develops into a franchise quarterback, this draft will already be a success. If Anderson also delivers on his potential, it could be remembered as an all-time great draft class, and be the key to a Texans resurgence.
Those are, of course, hypotheticals. No one knows for sure how any of these rookies are going to turn out. The only certainty is that come September, the time for hypotheticals will be over. Instead, it will be time to see which, if any, of the 3 AFC South teams that took quarterbacks got it right.
Longtime Houston Texans writer John McClain joined The Ride With JMV during Thursday’s show to discuss the Houston Texans 2023 draft class, and where things stand in the AFC South as a whole. Listen to that conversation below, and tune in to The Ride With JMV from 3-6pm on 93.5/107.5 The Fan!
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