The Texans’ placement here is less about the immediate pressure to win and more about the importance of their first two picks, which will mark just this team’s second and third first-round selections since Deshaun Watson finished 12th overall in 2017 was drafted. Aside from Tytus Howard, who came in 23rd overall in 2019, the team’s top picks in each draft over that period looked as follows: Justin Reid, 68th overall in 2018, Ross Blacklock, 40th overall in 2020 and Davis Mills, 67th overall last year.
Handling early picks is clearly a path to improvement, but the moves that have undermined Houston from his recent high-end picks (giving Cleveland a 2018 first as part of his advance for Watson, giving the Browns a 2018 second round as part of the fee for shooting Brock Osweiler and handing Miami two firsts and a second for Laremy Tunsil) unfortunately didn’t translate into long-term success. And if you don’t make your first pick in the draft until most teams have picked twice, it becomes difficult to build a good roster. Keeping two leading talents within the top 13 picks would really help give this franchise a much-needed boost.