On Thursday night I did a live Mock Draft, but I extended it to include the picks that I made for the Texans in later rounds. Here's what happened.
The Carolina Panthers decided to pick Alabama QB Bryce Young, which made my pick at #2 overall pretty easy as I've said since January 8th around 3:30 PM CST
"If Young is one, then Stroud is two or if Stroud is one, then Young is two"
That formula for me hasn't changed in the slightest so the pick at Number two was easy to make. The Panthers snatched up Young, so…
The Houston Texans selected Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud.
Just prior to this pick, the Tennessee Titans, looking to add to the skill player arsenal, drafted my WR1 Jaxon Smith-Njigba. He was the guy that I was eyeing for the Texans at No. 12. With Tyree Wilson (Lions, 6th overall) and Will Anderson Jr (Raiders, 7th overall) the only edge players off the board and JSN the only WR off the board, it was a great spot to trade down with plenty of supply at that pick at positions that Texans may covet.
Now, the trade down scenario is always a fun one to discuss because I hear so many times from people "JUST TRADE DOWN!! JUST DO IT ALREADY!!" I caution people all the time there has to be a dance partner, i.e a team that feels the need to come UP to draft a player at the same time that you feel the need to move down. In this case the Texans found a willing partner in the Pittsburgh Steelers as they look to lock up Illinois CB Devon Witherspoon before the run on CBs happens (like it did for WR last year at around this spot)
To do the deal, the Texans trade down to 17 overall and receive the Steelers 2nd rounder (49th overall). And, yes, the Steelers do indeed take Witherspoon at No. 12.
As such, the Texans now have picks 2 (Stroud), 17, 33 and 49 in the first two rounds.
This one was really tough because most of the same players that I thought would interest the Texans at No. 12 are still on the board, except for Myles Murphy who went to Arizona at 16 (yes, I had Arizona trading down). I feel like an elite athletic profile and production in an elite conference matters to most teams, including the Texans, and if you can find that at a priority position, then that's all the better.
So, there's an edge player, a little light, but he has one of the most athletic profiles of any player in this draft class. That would be Georgia edge Nolan Smith.
I thought long and hard about Texas RB Bijan Robinson because he's too good to be available at No. 17, but finding elite athleticism at a priority position that feels like a position of need for the Texans is paramount.
So, the Houston Texans indeed selected Georgia edge Nolan Smith.
Mock drafts are fun in that there are so many twists and turns and there's going to be a prospect or three that falls out of the first round. So, having a top two pick in the second round is perfect for the Texans in that scenario. The Texans passed on WR in the first round to ensure they added Smith at No. 17. But, knowing the draft leaves gifts at the top of the second round, the Texans knew they could add a dynamic weapon…one that falls right into their laps.
The Houston Texans selected the speedy WR Jalin Hyatt from Tennessee.
Now, if you've committed the picks to memory like I have…at least through pick 104 (I think it's 161 after that), you know 2, 12, 33, 65, 73 like the back of your hand. But, keep in mind, the Texans' trade down from 12 to 17 garnered pick 49 overall from the Steelers. As such, after snatching up Hyatt, the Texans looked for even more speed. They found it in the form of a young Jamaal Charles.
The Houston Texans selected the ultra-explosive Weapon X/RB Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama
So, that's how it went through pick #49. Had I kept going, already making these picks above, I'd have considered the following at these respective spots in rounds three and four.
OC Luke Wypler, Ohio State
OC Joe Tippmann, Wisconsin
WR Tank Dell, Houston
DT Keeanu Benton, Wisconsin
CB Cory Trice Jr,, Purdue
OC Ricky Stromberg, Arkansas
DE Byron Young, Tennessee
S Ji'Ayir Brown, Penn State
WR Jonathan Mingo, Ole Miss
LB Dorian Williams, Tulane
OC Olu Oluwatimi, Michigan
RB Roschon Johnson, Texas
DT Moro Ojomo, Texas
…and I'll stop there to leave some suspense for next week.