Sean Pendergast

Texan Fans, Here's the History of 13th Overall Picks in the NFL Draft

Laremy Tunsil is one of a handful of recent solid picks at 13th overall.
Laremy Tunsil is one of a handful of recent solid picks at 13th overall. Photo by Eric Sauseda
There was a time when you could count on the Houston Texans picking in the first round of the draft every offseason. Not just that, you could count on them making the right pick practically every year. From 2008 through 2017, you could argue that the Texans nailed nearly every pick, with 2015 cornerback Kevin Johnson being the only full fledged bust.

Times changed around 2018, and for three of the last four drafts, the Texans had no first round pick. Hell, in 2018 and 2021 they didn't even have a second round either. Well, times have flipped back to the old days, in a big way. With the Deshaun Watson trade now done, the Texans have six first round picks in the next three drafts, including the 3rd and 13th overall picks in the draft.

The 3rd overall pick is their own, the 13th overall pick came over in the Watson trade. It's nice to have that additional pick in the first round, but what's the history been like recently at spot number 13? Exactly, what caliber player has come off the board at 13th overall? Well, glad you asked! Here is the list of 13th overall picks in the NFL Draft from the last decade:

2021: RASHAWN SLATER, Chargers, G, Northwestern (AV: 14, T-2nd)
Slater is a solid foundational piece for the Chargers. Brought in to protect Pro Bowl QB Justin Herbert, he was named a second team All Pro, and was named to the Pro Bowl in his rookie season. The Texans would be over the moon, if they drafted the next Slater at 13.

2020
: TRISTAN WIRFS, Buccaneers, T, Iowa (AV: 27, T-2nd)
Slater was second team All Pro, and the guy ahead of him was Wirfs, who in his second season, was named first team All Pro and named to the Pro Bowl. He will get a chance to continue protecting Tom Brady's blind side again in 2022.

2019
: CHRISTIAN WILKINS, Dolphins, DT, Clemson (AV: 21, T-16th)
Wilkins was part of one of the best defensive lines in college football history at Clemson, and was tabbed by the Dolphins with the 13th overall pick in 2019. He has steadily progressed into a very solid defensive linemen, notching 10 tackles for loss and 13 QB hits in 2021.

2018
: DARON PAYNE, Redskins, DT, Alabama (AV: 27, T-17th)
Payne has been a lot like Wilkins, a solid starter, who's gotten better as his career has gone on. In three of his four seasons, he started every game for the Washington Redskins/Football Team/Commanders. As of right now, he will play the 2022 season on his fifth year option.

2017
: HAASON REDDICK, Cardinals, LB, Temple (AV: 23)
Reddick has been  bit of a late bloomer, getting double digit sacks for the first time in his career in the final year of his rookie deal in 2020, and then going out and getting 11 sacks for the Panthers on a one year deal in 2021. He signed a multi year deal with the Eagles in free agency a week ago.

2016
: LAREMY TUNSIL, Dolphins, T, Mississippi (AV: 36)
Tunsil was considered by many tp be the top prospect in the 2016 draft, but dropped to 13th on draft night when a video of Tunsil smoking weed through a gas mask surfaced on Twitter. After three seasons in Miami, he was traded to the Texans for two 1st round picks, and has made two Pro Bowls, while becoming one of the highest paid tackles in football.

2015
: ANDRUS PEAT Saints, T, Stanford (AV: 46, 12th)
The good news on Peat, he made three Pro Bowls from 2018 through 2020. The bad news on Peat, he missed 23 games over the last four seasons, including 11 games in 2021. Still, a Peat-level selection, if healthy, would be a massive win for the Texans.

2014
: AARON DONALD, Rams, DT, Pittsburgh (AV: 110, 1st)
Donald is a three time Defensive Player of the Year, and a sure fire Hall of Fame, even if he decided to retire tomorrow morning. Enough said.

2013
: SHELDON RICHARDSON, Jets, DT, Missouri (AV: 61, T-6th)
Richardson's career started with a bang in 2012, named first team All Pro and Defensive Rookie of the Year. That was as good as it got for Richardson, who has now hung around the league for a decade, but most of the second half of his career has been as a journeyman, having played for three teams since 2017.

2012
: MICHAEL FLOYD, Cardinals, WR, Notre Dame (AV: 28)
Floyd was a spectacular All American at Notre Dame, but his career peaked in his second year in the league, his only 1,000 yard season of his career, for the Arizona Cardinals. Floyd would go on to run into trouble, getting suspended in 2017 for PED's, and ending his career as a training camp cut by the Baltimore Ravens in 2019.

2011
: NICK FAIRLEY, Lions, DT, Auburn (AV: 23)
There were many Texans fans that wanted the Texans to draft Fairley with the 11th pick in 2011. Instead, the Texans drafted some dude named Watt. Fairley went on to a six year career in the league, finishing up in 2016. I'd say the Texans chose wisely.

OTHER NOTABLES: BRIAN ORAKPO, LB, Texas (2009); MARCUS STROUD, DL, Georgia (2001); TAKEO SPIKES, LB, Auburn (1998); TONY GONZALEZ, TE, Cal (1997); KEITH JACKSON, TE, Oklahoma (1988); KELLEN WINSLOW, TE, Missouri (1979); FRANCO HARRIS, RB, Penn State (1972)

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Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts the morning drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the pre-game and post game shows for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast