EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the eighth article in a series examining the history of all 11 Texans selections. HoustonTexans.com is looking back through the NFL's past at some of the more notable players picked in the spots where the Texans are drafting in 2022. Today, we're checking out the 68th overall pick, which is in the third round. We've also profiled the following:
80th overall pick (3rd Round-New Orleans)
107th overall pick (4th Round-Cleveland through Detroit)
108th overall pick (4th Round)
183rd overall pick (6th Round)
205th overall pick (6th Round-Green Bay)
207th overall pick (6th Round-San Francisco through New York Jets)
245th overall pick (7th Round-Dallas)
One of Lovie Smith's favorite former players was a hit at 68th overall.
The Texans have 11 picks in this year’s NFL Draft, and fourth is their third-round choice, which is 68th overall. The Texans head coach experienced a great deal of success when he was in Chicago, and a key component of his winning days there was Lance Briggs.
Chicago used a third-round selection on the linebacker from Arizona, and he went on to become a leader for the Bears defense. A 7-time Pro Bowler, Briggs spent a dozen years in the NFL, all in Chicago. Routinely around the ball, Briggs finished with 100 or more tackles in all but four seasons, and he picked off 16 passes, forced 16 fumbles and recovered seven more. Smith's emphatic about his defense needing to score, and Briggs helped out bigtime in that regard: the linebacker found the end zone six times. Five came via an interception return for a score, and he also recovered a fumble for a touchdown.
Of the 94 men drafted 68th overall since 1936, 78 went on to appear in at least one NFL regular season contest. 30 wound up starting at least 32 games, while nine started 100 games or more.
Tom Tupa only started the 13 games in his NFL career. Chosen by the Phoenix Cardinals in 1988 out of Ohio State, the 68th overall pick played sparingly at quarterback his first five seasons in the NFL. But beginning in 1994, Tupa would punt in every game but one through the 2004 season. When his career finished, Tupa had won a Super Bowl ring in 2002 with the Buccaneers, been an All-Pro and Pro Bowler with the Jets in 1999, and appeared in 220 total games. Tup played for seven different franchises during his time in the league.
Jake Reed was the Vikings' third-round pick in the 1991 NFL Draft, and the wide receiver from Grambling State rewarded Minnesota with four straight seasons of 1,000 yards or more from 1994 through 1997. He played two years for the Saints, and when Reed's 12-year career finished, he'd caught 36 touchdowns, averaged 15.6 yards per catch, and was a single yard shy of 7,000 receiving yards.
The Texans have picked twice before at 68th overall. In 2012 they selected Ohio State wideout DeVier Posey, and in 2018 they chose safety Justin Reid from Stanford. Injuries prevented Posey's career from taking off in Houston, as he spent three years with the Texans. But he's flourished in the Canadian Football League, winning the Grey Cup MVP for the 2017 champion Toronto Argonauts.
Reid, meanwhile, played four years with Houston. He started 53 games, picked off seven passes, and averaged 79 tackles per season.
The NFL Draft begins Thursday, April 28 in Las Vegas.