Sean Pendergast

Texans Pick 2nd Overall Thursday, Here's the History of that Pick

Zach Wilson is one fo the worst number two overall picks of recent years.
Zach Wilson is one fo the worst number two overall picks of recent years. Photo by Jack Gorman
The Houston Texans have only been in existence for 21 total NFL seasons, so naturally, there are some things that the team has never done. Unfortunately, winning a Super Bowl and participating in a conference title game are two of this unfulfilled items. The bottom line is the team has not been very good over the course of its relatively brief history.

Given the mediocre aggregate for the Texans in terms of wins and losses, it does make it somewhat improbable that, this week, they will be doing this particular thing for the first time in franchise history — picking second overall in the NFL Draft. They've picked first three times (2002, 2006, 2014), and picked third twice (2003, 2022, although they traded the third pick in 2021 in the Laremy Tunsil trade, too). They've never picked second, though.

Thursday night, much to the consternation of Texans fans who are still livid that a Week 18 win over the Colts deprived the Texans of the FIRST overall pick, the local franchise will pick second. So, with that in mind, here is a brief history lesson on the second overall pick in the 21st century NFL drafts.

First, let's list the picks:
Aidan Hutchinson, Lions, 2022
Zach Wilson, Jets, 2021
Chase Young, Washington, 2020
Nick Bosa, 49ers, 2019
Saquon Barkley, Giants, 2018
Mitchell Trubisky, Bears, 2017
Carson Wentz, Eagles, 2016
Marcus Mariota, Titans, 2015
Greg Robinson, Rams, 2014
Luke Joeckel, Jaguars, 2013
Robert Griffin III, Redskins, 2012
Von Miller, Broncos, 2011
Ndamukong Suh, Lions, 2010
Jason Smith, Rams, 2009
Chris Long, Rams, 2008
Calvin Johnson, Lions, 2007
Reggie Bush, Saints, 2006
Ronnie Brown, Dolphins, 2005
Robert Gallery, Raiders, 2004
Charles Rogers, Lions, 2003
Julius Peppers, Panthers, 2002
Leonard Davis, Cardinals, 2001
LaVar Arrington, Redskins, 2000
Hall of Famers can come from any area of the draft process, but this list is proof that the higher up you pick, the better chance you have of getting a game changer. Common sense, right? On this list, I would say the following players are Hall of Fame worthy (one is already in!) — Julius Peppers, Calvin Johnson, and Von Miller. It's early for Nick Bosa, but he is the best defensive player in the sport right now. Ndamukong Suh is not a Hall of Famer, but at his peak, he was possibly the best defensive lineman in the sport, along with J.J. Watt. Last year's second overall pick, Aidan Hutchinson looks like a very good pick by Detroit.

That said, the overall list of names here should be jarring to Texan fans thinking that picking this high makes it a lock you'll find someone good. Charles Rogers, Robert Gallery, Luke Jooeckel, Mitch Trubisky and Zach Wilson are frightening names. Robert Griffin III probably belongs in there, too, but injuries put him in a different category than those other names.

The Texans have never picked second before, but they've picked NEAR second, and thus, are part of some incredible "what if" scenarios. What if they selected Peppers first overall instead of David Carr in 2002? What if the Lions had taken Andre Johnson instead of Charles Rogers in 2003? Do I need to rehash the 2006 draft, where the Texans took Mario Williams over Reggie Bush and Vince Young? Would we feel better about the Texans' 2022 draft if they'd just lost another game in 2021, and were belt to make Hutchinson instead of Derek Stingley?

Well, until the pick gets announced, Texan fans everywhere seem to be rooting for Ohio State quarterback C.J. STROUD, The betting market has gone haywire on the Texans' selection, but the favorite, as of this weekend, was Kentucky QB WILL LEVIS. The two edge rushers, Alabama's WILL ANDERSON and Texas Tech's TYREE WILSON, are both firmly in the conversation. Finally, we will keep the candles lit hoping that Carolina passes on Alabama QB BRYCE YOUNG and leaves him there for the Texans at number 2 overall.

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at, on Instagram at, and like him on Facebook at
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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