With the Super Bowl and NFL season officially over, focus will quickly shift to the 2024 season.
Following a great turnaround season that saw them go from one of the league’s worst teams to one that won the AFC South and a playoff game, there is lots of optimism for the Houston Texans going into 2024.
The first step toward building on the success of 2023 is April’s NFL Draft in Detroit, but where do the Texans stand going into it?
Here is where the Texans are with the scouting combine slated for the end of the month and the draft in April.
How many picks do the Texans have?
For a team that won a division and made the playoffs, the Texans possess good draft capital. Houston has eight overall picks, although three of them are in the seventh round.
Still, despite trading its first-round pick to Arizona during last year’s draft — a trade that worked out well since the Texans drafted Will Anderson — Houston does own a first-round pick. The Texans acquired Cleveland’s first-round pick in the Deshaun Watson trade, which turned out to be the 23rd overall pick in this year’s draft. Houston will also pick 59th, 86th, 123rd and 127th before those three picks in the seventh round.
Who was chosen in the slots Houston has during last year’s draft?
For sake of comparison, here were the players chosen in the 2023 draft at the spots Houston will draft this year. The NFL teams that drafted the player is in parenthesis.
No. 23 — Jordan Addison, WR (Minnesota)
No. 59 — O’Cyrus Torrence, OL (Buffalo)
No. 86 — Trenton Simpson, LB (Baltimore)
No. 123 — Cameron Young, DT (Seattle)
No. 127 — Jake Haener, QB (New Orleans)
No. 235 — Lew Nichols, RB (Green Bay)
No. 244 — Jalen Brooks, WR (Dallas)
No. 248 — Brandon Hill, DB (Houston)
What are the team’s biggest needs?
Offensive line, defensive line and the secondary are the biggest areas that Houston needs to address. There were many points of the season where the offensive line couldn’t protect franchise quarterback C.J. Stroud, so ensuring the team’s most valuable player stays upright through better protection will be a priority.
Defensively, it never hurts to add more run stuffers on the interior line or an edge rusher to complement Will Anderson on the outside, even though Houston showed great improvement stopping the run in 2023. The Texans went from the worst-rush defense in 2022 to the sixth-best in 2023.
Where the defense really struggled was stopping the pass, given the Texans were No. 29 in yards allowed per pass attempt. There is a foundational piece in Derek Stingley, Jr, but adding more playmakers in the secondary will be a priority in the draft and free agency.