What Are The Houston Texans’ Team Needs In The 2022 NFL Draft?

The 2022 NFL Draft starts on Thursday, April 28. As a lead-up to the draft, we’ll be giving a team-by-team breakdown for positional needs. For each team, we’ll give an overview of the current depth chart and how big of a need each position is in the upcoming draft. You can find the rest of the team needs (as they’re updated) and the rest of our draft content in the 2022 NFL Draft hub.

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What Picks do the Houston Texans have in 2022

The Houston Texans have 11 picks.

Round 1 (3)
Round 1 (13)
Round 2 (37)
Round 3 (68)
Round 3 (80)
Round 4 (107)
Round 4 (108)
Round 6 (183)
Round 6 (205)
Round 6 (207)
Round 7 (245)

Houston Texans Top POSITIONS OF NEED

  1. NFL Players

Houston Texans Strength of Schedule, 2022

The Houston Texans have the 10th hardest NFL strength of schedule for the 2022 NFL season.

Houston Texans Offense

By Rich Hribar


Davis Mills
Kyle Allen
Jeff Driskel

Given where the Texans are as a franchise right now, there is no reason for them not to continue to see what Davis Mills has in the short term. At best, there is a non-zero chance that Mills is their future starting quarterback. At worst, he ends up as an affordable backup, carrying a salary below $2 million per season over the remainder of his rookie contract. 

But Mills also showed more life than a number of rookie passers that were handled as potential franchise saviors in 2021. 

Mills threw more touchdown passes (16) than every rookie after Mac Jones. Mills was once the top recruit in the nation coming out of high school and picked up his play over his final six starts, throwing for 7.3 Y/A with 11 touchdowns to three interceptions over that span. 

Both Kyle Allen and Jeff Driskel are experienced backups signed for 2022 only. 


Rex Burkhead
Marlon Mack
Dare Ogunbowale
Royce Freeman
Scottie Phillips
Darius Anderson
Andy Jonovich (FB)

King Moonracer himself would not take on this misfit backfield. 

Houston was dead last in expected points added via rushing (-58.5 EPA) in 2021, ranking at the bottom of the league in rushing yardage (1,422), yards per carry (3.4 YPC), and rushing touchdowns (eight). 

31-year-old Rex Burkhead led the team with 122 carries for 427 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.

The team has added Marlon Mack and Dare Ogunbowale this offseason, while only Ogunbowale is signed beyond this season.

Houston will surely add a rookie to this group, but it should come on day three. There is no reason for them to spend premier draft capital on a running back with the current state of where they are in the rebuild. 


Brandin Cooks
Nico Collins
Chris Conley
Daesean Hamilton
Chris Moore
Davion Davis
Jalen Camp
Damon Hazelton

Brandin Cooks is the best offensive player that the Texans have, and they just recently gave him an extension through the 2024 season.

Cooks secured 90-of-134 targets for 1,037 yards and six touchdowns. He has now delivered with a plethora of quarterbacks over his career, posting a 1,000-yard season with four different teams. 

Cooks and Mills connected on 71.1% of their targets with five touchdowns and a 101.6 rating while Cooks and Tyrod Taylor connected on 58.3% with one score and an 83.0 rating. 

Cooks received 74 more targets than the next closest player on the team, which was last year’s third-round rookie Nico Collins.

Collins corralled 33-of-60 targets for 446 yards and one touchdown, playing 59% of the snaps. Collins and Mills did not have the established connection as Cooks did, with the battery connecting on 25-of-46 targets (54.3%) for 7.5 yards per target, one touchdown, and a 76.8 rating. 

Collins is the only wide receiver here outside of Cooks signed beyond this season as this team is far from done adding talent here.


Brevin Jordan
Pharoah Brown
Anthony Auclair
Paul Quessenberry

Houston tight ends combined to catch 72 passes (22nd), 610 yards (28th), and four touchdowns (28th) in 2021. 

Pharoah Brown led this outfit with 34 targets while Jordan Akins led the tight ends with 24 receptions.

Rookie Brevin Jordan was selected in the fifth round last year, catching three touchdown passes, which was tied for second on the team. 

Jordan only played 50% of the snaps in two games as a rookie, but he is the only tight end signed beyond this season. 


LT: Laremy Tunsil/Cedric Ogbuehi
LG: Tytus Howard/Max Sharping
C: Justin Britt/Jimmy Morrissey/Scott Quessenberry
RG: A.J. Cann/Justin McCray/Sam Cooper
RT: Charlie Heck/Jordan Steckler/Carson Green

Like the rest of the roster, the offensive line is lacking nearly across the board. Houston ranked 27th in the league in ESPN’s Pass Block Win Rate (54%) and 32nd in Run Block Win Rate (65%) while ranking 24th in passing blocking grade and 32nd in run blocking grade per Pro Football Focus. 

Left tackle Laremy Tunsil carries dead cap hits of $34.4 million and $16.7 million over the remaining two years of his contract. Tunsil appeared in just five games in 2021, missing multiple games in all three of his years with Houston.

Veterans Justin Britt, A.J. Cann, and Charlie Heck are all under contract for the next two seasons to bridge the gap and backup any upgrades Houston can make during the draft. Outside of left tackle, all of these positions are immediately negotiable for competition.

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Houston Texans Defense

By Dan Pizzuta

Interior Defensive Line

Maliek Collins
Roy Lopez
Ross Blacklock
Kingsley Keke
Michael Dwumfour

Maliek Collins has been an underrated interior disruptor throughout his career. In 2021, he only ranked 39th at the position in pressure rate, but was sixth among defensive tackles in ESPN’s Pass Rush Win Rate. He also had six tackles for loss lined up as a defensive tackle, the seventh-most at the position. Collins, who just turned 27 years old, re-signed with Houston on a two-year deal.

Roy Lopez started 15 games and played 43.6% of the defensive snaps as a sixth-round rookie in 2021. Lopez’s four tackles for loss while lined up strictly as a defensive tackle ranked 17th at the position. He had six tackles for loss overall.

Ross Blacklock, a 2020 second-round pick, played 39% of the defensive snaps and added six quarterback hits.

The Texans claimed Kingsley Keke off waivers in January. Keke, a 2019 fifth-round pick, has upside as a pass rusher with 12 quarterback hits and 6.5 sacks over the past two seasons. Keke was 50th among defensive tackles in pressure rate last season.


Ogbonnia Okoronkwo
Jonathan Greenard
Jordan Jenkins
Derek Rivers
Demone Harris
Ron’Dell Carter

Obo Okoronkwo has flashed as a part-time pass rusher with the Rams, but now he’ll get some run as a full-time edge in Houston. Okoronkwo (11.3%) nearly matched Von Miller’s pressure rate with the Rams (11.6%), per SIS, but Okoronkwo only had 111 pass rush snaps on the season.

Jonathan Greenard had a bit of a breakout with eight sacks but those came on just 12 quarterback hits. That 66.7% conversion rate was the third-highest among 105 defenders with at least 10 quarterback hits and should be due for some regression in 2022 (the average is around 40%). Greenard was 43rd among edge rushers in pressure rate.

The Texans could certainly use more upside among the pass rushers, which would, in turn, open up more for the likes of Okoronkwo and Greenard in the rotation.

Off-ball Linebacker

Christian Kirksey
Kamu Grugier-Hill
Jaylen Reeves-Maybin
Blake Cashman
Kevin Pierre-Lewis
Neville Hewitt
Tae Davis
Garret Wallow

The Texans have all the linebackers, though it’s fair to question the quality of the quantity. Houston’s linebacker room is full of component-at-best players at the position. They also will see the field quite a bit on the only defense in the league that did not play a single snap in dime personnel last season.

Christian Kirksey played 68.7% of the defensive snaps last season and Kamu Grugier-Hill played 67.7%. Grugier-Hill was 47th among 85 qualified linebackers in yards allowed per coverage snap. Kirksey was 67th. Jalen Reeves-Maybin ranked 57th while he played 54% of the defensive snaps for the Lions in 2021.


Demond King
Lonnie Johnson Jr.
Tavierre Thomas
MJ Stewart
Jimmy Moreland
Tremon Smith
Reggie Robinson
Isaac Yiadom

Desmond King had some struggles in coverage and ranked 82nd among 93 qualified cornerbacks in Adjusted Yards allowed per coverage snap, which accounts for touchdowns and interceptions. King played 80% of the defensive snaps last season and has stuck at corner full-time after moving around the secondary early in his career. King re-signed on a two-year deal this offseason.

Lonnie Johnson bounced around between safety and outside corner. He’s currently slated to be the starting outside corner, though Lovie Smith recently said in an interview that cornerback was the one position the Texans needed to improve over last year.

One place where the Texans don’t need an immediate replacement is at slot corner. Tavierre Thomas had an incredible season in the slot for Houston as he ranked first in Adjusted Yards allowed per coverage snap. Thomas signed a two-year deal in 2021. 


Eric Murray
Terrence Brooks
Jonathan Owens
Grayland Arnold

Eric Murray bounced around the defense with multiple alignments, mostly coming near the line of scrimmage, and his production was uneven. Justin Reid was long the deep safety for the team, but he left for the Chiefs in free agency. That leaves some questions about what will be the rotation.

Terrence Brooks only played 11 games and 15% of the defensive snaps. Simone Biles’s fiance, Jonathan Owens, had some flashes with some playing time at the end of the season MJ Stewart, who signed with Houston this offseason, has experience at safety and could be used there also.

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