EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the 11th article in a series examining the history of all 11 Texans selections. HoustonTexans.com looked 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 3rd overall pick, which is in the first round. We've also profiled the following:
13th overall pick (1st Round-Cleveland)
37th overall pick (2nd Round)
68th overall pick (3rd Round)
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)_
The third overall pick has a rich history of success in NFL history.
Unless they trade out of the spot, and Houston General Manager Nick Caserio has intimated that's possible, the Texans are picking in a spot that's yielded a dozen Pro Football Hall of Famers, a handful more who will one day wind up in Canton, and a slew of other excellent professionals.
Of the 11 picks the Texans have in this year's NFL Draft, their first one is third overall. The only other time in franchise history they picked in that spot was 2003. Miami wide receiver Andre Johnson was the choice, and he's the only player in the club's Ring of Honor.
94 men have been chosen third overall. Only four failed to play a down in an NFL regular season game. Bill Shakespeare--no, not that William Shakespeare--was picked third overall by the Pittsburgh Pirates out of Notre Dame, but he never played. Heisman Trophy winner Felix 'Doc' Blanchard was picked a decade later in 1946 by Pittsburgh, who'd then changed from the Pirates to the Steelers, but the Army wouldn't let him play.
But the other 90 all played at least a game, and 69 would start at least 32 games in their career. 37 third overall picks started at least 100 games, and three started at least 200 games.
54 were selected to at least one Pro Bowl in their career.
These 12 were elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
|QB BOBBY LAYNE, TEXAS
|HB DOAK WALKER, SMU
|NEW YORK BULLDOGS-1949
|QB Y.A. TITTLE, LSU
|SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS-1951
|RB OLLIE MATSON, SAN FRANCISCO
|RB/DB JOHNNY ROBINSON, LSU
|DT MERLIN OLSEN, UTAH STATE
|LOS ANGELES RAMS-1962
|WR CHARLEY TAYLOR, ARIZONA STATE
|LB DICK BUTKUS, ILLINOIS
|DE CLAUDE HUMPHREY, TENNESSEE STATE
|OT ANTHONY MUÑOZ, USC
|RB BARRY SANDERS, OKLAHOMA STATE
|DT CORTEZ KENNEDY, MIAMI (FL)
But there are several players taken the last two decades at third overall, who might one day have their bust in Canton as well. Johnson had at least 1,500 receiving yards in a season three different times, and had another year with 1,400 yards as well. For over a decade, he was one of the best pass-catchers in the NFL.
In 2004, a year after the Texans took Johnson third overall, the Cardinals selected wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald out of Pittsburgh. He retired with 121 touchdown catches, over 17,000 yards and 11 Pro Bowl selections in a 17-year career.
Joe Thomas was the third overall selection in 2007, and the Wisconsin Badger was a Pro Bowl left tackle for the Browns the next 10 seasons. In six of his 11 years in the NFL, he was a first-team All-Pro.
The next year, Atlanta picked Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan third overall. He was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2008, the NFL MVP in 2016, has thrown 367 touchdown passes and is just shy of 60,000 passing yards for his career.
Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa was the Chargers pick at three overall in 2016, and he was that season's NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. He's piled up 58 sacks in his career and been selected to four Pro Bowls.
The NFL Draft begins Thursday, April 28 in Las Vegas. The Texans will host a free draft party for fans at Miller Outdoor Theatre that evening.