The Houston Texans are low on draft capital heading into the 2018 NFL Draft, sending three early picks to the Cleveland Browns in the moves to rid the team of Brock Osweiler and bring in Deshaun Watson.
Those trades have been an unequivocal success thus far, but it leaves the team without a pick until the third round in a draft where they would ideally be targeting an impact player in Round One or Two.
The Texans most valuable tradable asset was Duane Brown, and the team moved on from the veteran Left Tackle earlier this week. The initial deal saw the team receive a second-round pick in 2019 and a fifth-rounder this year in addition to Jeremy Lane. Lane’s failed physical saw the deal altered, with Seattle now receiving Houston’s fifth-round selection and the Texans gaining another third-round pick.
This leaves the Texans with two selections in the third round in 2018, and one in each of the fourth, sixth and seventh rounds. In addition to these, Houston is likely to receive compensatory selections based on their losses in 2017’s Free Agency period. The Texans lost five free agents without signing anyone themselves, likely resulting in the team being awarded the maximum number of four extra selections.
Most high-profile of the losses was A.J. Bouye, with the cornerback signing a large deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Such a large contract will likely command a third-round compensatory selection to be awarded to Houston; indeed, his strong play in Jacksonville may result in a Pro Bowl berth which may mean the Texans obtain the first compensatory pick of the draft.
John Simon and Quintin Demps received more modest contracts but should return a sixth-rounder each, while the loss of the pair of Don Jones and Oday Aboushi will likely parlay into a seventh-round compensatory selection. As such, here are the likely picks Houston has in the 2018 NFL Draft:
Round 3 (via Seattle)
Round 3 Compensatory (A.J. Bouye)
Round 6 Compensatory (John Simon)
Round 6 Compensatory (Quintin Demps)
Round 7 Compensatory (Don Jones/Oday Aboushi)
The Texans may be wise to rid themselves of one or more of those third rounders and move up into the second round to obtain a more impactful player or someone they particularly covet.
Looking ahead to 2019, they now have two second-round selections in addition to a pick in every other round. These are extremely valuable trade chips and it would not be surprising to see one packaged in a deal to move up in this year’s draft.
© 2017 USATODAY.COM