2023 NFL Draft: Reviewing team needs in the AFC South

Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars (Photo by Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images)
Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars (Photo by Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images) /
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NFL Draft
Houston Texans (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

2023 NFL Draft: Houston Texans

The Houston Texans are in a similar situation to the Colts, in need of a franchise quarterback. Fortunately for them, their draft position (2nd pick) guarantees them a top-tier quarterback. In a draft where that top tier is made up of exactly two quarterbacks (Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud), that’s got to be a nice feeling for Houston.

Many fans probably wish they hadn’t won in Week 18, but given Chicago (1st pick) has Justin Fields showing promise, Houston could still hypothetically move up a spot to guarantee the guy they want. This would block other suitors from leapfrogging them. If they feel comfortable with either guy, they should sit tight.

Outside of the quarterback, the team is littered with other holes on both sides of the ball. But the news is not all bad. The Texans just got excellent rookie seasons from running back Dameon Pierce, safety Jalen Pitre, and cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. Christian Harris and Kenyon Green have been up-and-down, but Harris is finishing his campaign strong and Green should show improvement in year two, at a position that is notoriously challenging for rookies. On top of their own pick, they also hold the 12th overall pick, by way of the Cleveland Browns. If they can put together another solid NFL Draft class, the Texans may be primed for a turnaround in 2023.

Top Draft Needs: QB, WR, TE

It’s my belief the Texans will go quarterback with the #2 pick. Some analysts believe the Texans could draft Will Anderson with their first choice, or trade back in order to accumulate picks and still get “their guy.” While certainly a possibility, the Texans shouldn’t overthink the room here. Take the quarterback.

With the #12 pick, I could see the Texans getting creative and perhaps moving back. Regardless of where they pick from, wide receiver has to be on the radar. Brandin Cooks will likely not be in the team’s 2023 plans after a tumultuous 2022 and renewed trade rumors. That leaves the Texans with Nico Collins and hopefully, a recovered John Metchie III. Without adding to the position group, Houston would hardly be setting up a rookie quarterback for success. I expect a receiver to be drafted in April, perhaps a top-end prospect with their second pick.

Outside of quarterback and wide receiver, the Texans could go in almost every other direction. They need to reinforce their OL and DL, and a pass rusher with upside is a must. That said, the right tight end prospect could change this offense.

Young quarterbacks should be set up for success and we’ve seen time and time again that until quarterbacks have reached a certain comfort level, the security blanket of a sure-handed tight end is a tremendous aid in their development.