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Success stories at 158th overall in the NFL Draft

The Texans have a draft pick at 158th overall this year, and over the course of NFL history, there have been plenty of productive players to emerge from that spot. 

Here at, we're examining each of the club's eight 2021 NFL Draft pick slots, and looking back through the League's record books to see which players made the biggest impacts. 

Because of a trade with the Patriots, the Texans own New England's fifth round selection at spot 158. We've detailed the history for each of their three sixth-rounders (195, 203212), as well as the seventh round pick (233). 

53 of the 88 players selected 158th overall would appear in at least one regular season game as a professional. 35 players wound up starting at least once in the NFL. 21 would start 16 games or more in their career. 

Here are a few notable names picked 158th overall.  

TE Jay Novacek – The rangy tight end from Wyoming was NOT picked by the Cowboys in the NFL Draft. He was originally taken by the Saint Louis Cardinals in the sixth round of the 1985 Draft. He spent his first five seasons with the Cards, the last two of which were in Phoenix, after the franchise moved west. 

But in 1990, Novacek signed with the Cowboys as a Plan B free agent. Over the next six seasons, the Cowboys won three Super Bowls, played in another NFC title game, and Novacek was a valuable outlet for Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman. Starting in 1991, through the final season of his career in 1995, Novacek went to five straight Pro Bowls. 

When his career finished, he had 4,630 receiving yards and 30 touchdown catches in 11 seasons. 

TE Howard Cross – Nobody drafted at 158th overall played in (207) or started more games (171) than tight end Howard Cross. The Giants took him in the sixth round of the 1989 NFL Draft out of Alabama, and he spent all 13 of his NFL seasons with Big Blue. Cross won a Super Bowl ring with the 1990 squad, and he also played in another Super Bowl with the 2000 team.  

He caught 17 touchdowns in his career and finished with 2,194 receiving yards 

DB Curtis Jordan – A native of Lubbock, Texas, who played his college ball for Texas Tech, Jordan was the expansion franchise Tampa Bay's sixth round pick in 1976. He played cornerback for five seasons with the Buccaneers, and picked off six passes in his time there. 1981 saw Jordan land in Washington, where he would start 57 games over the next six seasons.  

After 11 years in the NFL, Jordan picked off 17 passes, recovered nine fumbles, and won a Super Bowl ring.

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