If you live in Houston, and you're saying to yourself "Wait, the NFL Draft starts TONIGHT? On a Thursday? This just doesn't feel right!" you are not off base. Do what the rest of us do — blame Bill O'Brien, for it was the Laremy Tunsil trade back in 2019 that left this team without first round picks (and thus, rendered the Texans irrelevant on Thursday night of the draft) in each of the last two drafts.
Now, not only are the Texans back in the mix in the draft, they are picking twice tonight, thanks to (a) their own ineptitude landing them the 3rd overall pick, and (b) the Deshaun Watson trade landing them the 13th overall pick! Yay, ineptitude! Yay, Deshaun Watson is gone!
So, if you're settling in tonight to watch the 2022 NFL Draft (7 p.m. start time, on television on ESPN and the NFL Network), here are some answers to key questions to aid your viewing experience.
1. OK, when are the Texans' picking exactly?
Once again, the Texans have the 3rd and 13th overall picks in the draft. If this feels awfully high for the Texans to be picking in the draft, then you're right, it is. The only time in the last 10 drafts, going back to 2012, when the Texans have picked higher than EITHER of the two picks they have in this draft was when they used the first overall pick on Jadeveon Clowney in 2014. With 10 minutes in between picks, the draft moves fairly quickly, and I would expect the Texans' pick at number 3 overall to happen around 7:25 p.m., and I would expect the 13th overall pick to happen around 8:30 p.m.
2. Is there somewhere I can reference to see the order in which everyone is picking?
Yes! Right here!
4 NY Jets
5 NY Giants
7 NY Giants (from Chicago)
9 Seattle (from Denver)
10 NY Jets (from Seattle)
13 Houston (from Cleveland)
15 Philadelphia (from Miami)
16 New Orleans (from Indianapolis via Philadelphia)
17 LA Chargers
18 Philadelphia (from New Orleans)
19 New Orleans (from Philadelphia)
21 New England
22 Green Bay (from Las Vegas)
27 Tampa Bay
28 Green Bay
29 Kansas City (from San Francisco via Miami)
30 Kansas City
32 Detroit (from LA Rams)
Yes, you counted that right. There are EIGHT teams with multiple picks in this first round. It's going to be insane.
3. What exactly are the Texans shopping for tonight?
In short, EVERYTHING. Well, they need almost everything, but certain things will wait until the second and third days of the draft. It's probably just easier to list the positions they will NOT draft tonight. I feel pretty confident in saying they will not be using the 3rd or 13th overall picks on a quarterback, a running back, a tight end, or obviously any sort of specialist in the kicking game. Every other position is fair game. The other thing we could see tonight is a trade out of either the 3rd or 13th overall picks, likely moving back and accumulating more picks.
4. Who do the experts think the Texans will be selecting?
Drew Dougherty, who is a fixture on Texans TV and generating great content on their website, does a series every draft season where he visits all of the respected mock drafts on the internet and compiles the consensus of where experts see the Texans going in the draft. Here are the latest results, first for the 3rd overall pick
(based on 61 mock drafts):
14 - IKEM EKWONU, OL, NC State
13 - KAYVON THIBODEAUX, EDGE, Oregon
12 - EVAN NEAL, OL, Alabama
8 - TRAVON WALKER, EDGE, Georgia
6 - SAUCE GARDNER, CB. Cincinnati
6 - KYLE HAMILTON, S, Notre Dame
2 - OTHER
And now for the 13th overall pick
(again based on 61 mock drafts):
10 - JORDAN DAVIS, DT, Georgia
9 - JERMAINE JOHNSON, EDGE, Florida State
7 - KYLE HAMILTON, S, Notre Dame
5 - CHARLES CROSS, OL, Mississippi State
4 - TREVOR PENNING, OL, Northern Iowa
4 - JAMESON WILLIAMS, WR, Alabama
4 - GARRETT WILSON, WR, Ohio State
3 - DRAKE LONDON, WR, USC
3 - GEORGE KARLAFTIS, DE, Purdue
3 - TRENT McDUFFIE, CB, Washington
9 - OTHER
5. Is there somewhere I can go engage is some good old fashioned draft fellowship with other Texans fans?
YES! The Texans, for the first time ever, are taking their draft party outdoors to Miller Outdoor Theatre in the heart of the museum district. It is free to the public, doors open at 3 p.m., and there will be plenty of food, drink, fun, and frivolity.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.