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6 Emerge as Possibilities at 3rd Overall | Mock Draft Tracker

The NFL Draft is a week from Thursday, and the experts remain divided on who the Texans will take with the third overall pick.

Houston has a first-rounder--two, actually--for the first time since 2019, and just the second time since 2017. At third overall, and 13th overall, the possibilities vary on who they'll take with the pair of first-rounders.

But NC State offensive lineman Ikem Ekwonu was mocked to the Texans on 14 of 61 mock drafts. Oregon pass rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux was mocked to Houston by 13 experts, while Alabama left tackle Evan Neal was Houston's choice on a dozen mock drafts.

Just off that lead pack was another grouping of three, as eight mockers tabbed Georgia defensive lineman Travon Walker to the Texans, six had Cincinnati cornerback Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner headed to Houston, and six others slotted Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton to the Texans.

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In all, the Texans have 11 picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, which begins Thursday, April 28 in Las Vegas. The only other time Houston picked third overall was in 2003. They selected Miami (FL) wide receiver Andre Johnson, and in his 14-year career he'd catch 1,062 passes for 14,185 yards, and go to seven Pro Bowls.

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Ikwonu was a unanimous All-America selection in 2021, and has a twin brother (Osita) who plays linebacker at Notre Dame. The 14 mock drafts below projected Ekwonu to the Texans at third overall.

Table inside Article
MEDIA OUTLET
1. NFL MEDIA (PETER SCHRAGER)
2. SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (CONNOR ORR)
3. DRAFT COUNTDOWN (SHANE HALLAM)
4. HOUSTON CHRONICLE (BROOKS KUBENA)
5. CBS SPORTS (JOSH EDWARDS)
6. THE ATHLETIC (DANE BRUGLER)
7. USA TODAY (NATE DAVIS)
8. NFL MEDIA (RHETT LEWIS)
9. SHARP FOOTBALL ANALYSIS (BRENDAN DONOHUE)
10. NFL MEDIA (CHAD REUTER)
11. THE ATHLETIC (BRUCE FELDMAN)
12. CBS SPORTS (KYLE STACKPOLE)
13. YAHOO! SPORTS (ERIC EDHOLM)
14. SPORTSNET NEW YORK (RALPH VACCIANO)
ThibodeauxK

Thibodeaux was a unanimous All-America selection in 2021, and in three years with Oregon racked up a combined 19 sacks and 35.5 tackles for loss. As of April 19, he was mocked to Houston by these 12 different experts.

Table inside Article
MEDIA OUTLET
1. COLLEGE FOOTBALL NEWS (PETE FIUTAK)
2. SPORTING NEWS (VINNIE IYER)
3. FOX SPORTS (JASON MCINTYRE)
4. ESTABLISH THE RUN (EVAN SILVA)
5. THE DRAFT NETWORK (KEITH SANCHEZ)
6. CBS SPORTS (WILL BRINSON)
7. PRO FOOTBALL FOCUS (BRAD SPIELBERGER)
8. NEWSDAY (NICK KLOPSIS)
9. ESPN (TODD MCSHAY)
10. NFL MEDIA (BUCKY BROOKS)
11. NFL.COM (MAURICE JONES-DREW)
12. NFL MEDIA (DANIEL JEREMIAH)
13. FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS (DERRIK KLASSEN)
NealE

Neal started 13 games at left guard in 2019 before transitioning to right tackle in 2020. He spent 2021 at left tackle and in that three-year span started a combined 40 games up front. As of April 19, the 12 experts below believe the Texans will take him with the third overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Table inside Article
MEDIA OUTLET
1. NFL MEDIA (CHARLES DAVIS)
2. FTN FANTASY (MATTHEW FREEDMAN)
3. NEW YORK POST (STEVE SERBY)
4. CBS SPORTS (CHRIS TRAPASSO)
5. NFL.COM (LANCE ZIERLEIN)
6. THE RINGER (DANNY KELLY)
7. ESPN.COM (JORDAN REID)
8. SHARP FOOTBALL ANALYSIS (RYAN MCCRYSTAL)
9. PRO FOOTBALL NETWORK (IAN CUMMINGS)
10. NFL.COM (CYNTHIA FRELUND)
11. THE DRAFT NETWORK (BRENTLEY WEISSMAN)
12. NBC SPORTS EDGE (THOR NYSTROM)
WalkerT

On a Georgia defense littered with playmakers, Walker contributed six sacks and 37 total tackles to the National Champions in 2021. Eight different experts predicted the Texans will take Walker third overall.

Table inside Article
MEDIA OUTLET
1. CBS SPORTS (RYAN WILSON)
2. PRO FOOTBALL FOCUS (SAM MONSON)
3. USA TODAY (LUKE EASTERLING)
4. PRO FOOTBALL NETWORK (DALTON MILLER)
5. ESPN (MEL KIPER, JR.)
6. CBS SPORTS (PETE PRISCO)
7. THE DRAFT NETWORK (JOE MARINO)
8. PRO FOOTBALL FOCUS (TREVOR SIKKEMA)
Gardner

A first-team All-American in 2021, Gardner didn't allow a touchdown reception in three years with the Bearcats. Ran the 40-yard dash in 4.41 seconds at the Combine this year. The six experts below had him going to the Texans at third overall.

Table inside Article
MEDIA OUTLET
1. SI.COM (ZACK PATRAW)
2. WALTER FOOTBALL (WALTER CHEREPINSKY)
3. WALTER FOOTBALL (CHARLIE CAMPBELL)
4. ATHLON SPORTS (BRYAN FISCHER)
5. CBS SPORTS (TOM FORNELLI)
6. PEWTER REPORT (JON LEDYARD)
HamiltonK

A consensus All-American last autumn, Hamilton picked off a combined eight passes in three seasons with Notre Dame. Six separate mock drafts tabbed Hamilton to Houston.

Table inside Article
MEDIA OUTLET
1. THE DRAFT NETWORK (KYLE CRABBS)
2. SB NATION (JAMES DATOR)
3. HOUSTONTEXANS.COM (JOHN HARRIS)
4. USA TODAY (DOUG FARRAR)
5. ESPN (MIKE TANNENBAUM)
6. PRO FOOTBALL FOCUS (AUSTIN GAYLE)

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