If the Texans pick at 203 overall turns out like the best 203rd pick in NFL history, they'll have a Hall of Famer.
Houston owns eight picks in the 2021 NFL Draft, and three of those are sixth-rounders. The 203rd selection, which they obtained in a trade with the Dolphins, is the second of that trio of sixths. Earlier this week, we looked back at the best players emerging from the 212th and 233rd slots, and we'll also cover the success stories at the other five draft positions for Houston.
But several 203rd overall picks have gone on to fruitful NFL careers, as you'll see below.
DE Richard Dent - The Pro Football Hall of Famer was an absolute STEAL for the Chicago Bears in the 1983 Draft. An 8th-rounder out of Tennessee State, Dent started three games as a rookie and finished with three sacks. But starting the next year, and continuing through the 1993 season, Dent was one of the finest defenders in the game. In that decade span, he averaged just over 12 sacks per season. In 1984 he led the NFL with 17.5 sacks, and then had 17 in 1985. That '85 squad won the Super Bowl and is regarded by many as the greatest NFL team ever. Dent played 15 seasons in the League, finished with 137.5 sacks, 37 forced fumbles and eight interceptions. He was a Pro Bowler four times.
WR Otis Taylor - Taylor was the Eagles' choice at 203rd overall in 1965, but the Prairie View A&M product instead opted for the Kansas City Chiefs and the AFL. Over the next 11 seasons, he caught 57 touchdowns and averaged 17.8 yards per catch, twice being named an All-Pro and thrice going to the Pro Bowl. The Chiefs won the 1969 Super Bowl, and Taylor caught six passes, including a third-quarter touchdown as Kansas City defeated Minnesota, 23-7. Twice Taylor cracked the 1,100-yard receiving mark in a season, and back then, the seasons were just 14 games.
S Goose Gonsoulin - Like Taylor, Gonsoulin was chosen 203rd overall by an NFL team. The 49ers selected him out of Baylor in the 1960 NFL Draft, but Gonsoulin instead went to Denver in the AFL. He promptly led the league in interceptions with 11 as a rookie, and would go on to pick off 47 passes in an 8-year career. He went to six Pro Bowls, and after seven years with the Broncos, he finished his pro football career in 1967 with the 49ers.
QB Jack Kemp - The Lions took Kemp out of Occidental College 203rd overall in 1957, but cut him shortly after training camp that year. He latched on with the Steelers as a rookie, spent the next few years in the military, and returned to football with a flourish in 1960. He was an All-Pro that season with the Los Angeles Chargers, and made the Pro Bowl the next year when the team moved south to San Diego. Kemp was a Buffalo Bill from 1963 through 1969, and when the dust settled on his pro career, he'd been to seven Pro Bowls and earned an AFL Offensive Player of the Year award. Kemp served the state of New York in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1971-1989, and was the United States Housing and Urban Development Secretary under President George H.W. Bush.
CB Jason McCourty - The Rutgers product was a sixth-round selection by the Titans in 2009. He started 90 games in Nashville over the next eight seasons, spent 2017 with the Browns, and joined his twin brother Devin in New England in 2018. For his career, McCourty's picked off 18 passes and forced nine fumbles, with 137 starts in 12 NFL seasons.
S Darren Perry - The Steelers took the Penn State Nittany Lion in the eighth round of the 1992 Draft, and Perry rewarded Pittsburgh by starting every game for the first six seasons of his career, and 14 games in his seventh. He spent a final year with New Orleans in 2000, where he started all 16 games. In total, Perry picked off 35 passes, logged 599 total tackles, and started 126 games in eight seasons.