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2022 NFL mock draft: Houston Texans select Kayvon Thibodeaux

With Hutchinson and Walker off the board, what will the Houston Texans do with Pick 3?

Oregon State v Oregon Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions have made their selection of Travon Walker in our Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft, which means it’s time to see how the rest of the top five plays out. We’ve seen two defensive players come off the board, leaving the top offensive tackles still on the board, as well as every quarterback option. Here’s how the board has fallen thus far.

POD Community Mock Draft picks so far:

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan
  2. Detroit Lions: Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia

Now the Houston Texans are on the clock. After finally trading away Deshaun Watson this offseason and going through yet another head coaching change, it seems this organization is finally ready to embrace the full rebuild it has needed for years now. Sure, there are still some pieces in place within that organization that could use a purging, but 2022 certainly seems like a year that could be a pivotal point in the franchise.

So what will the Texans do to kick off this rebuild with the third overall pick? POD commenter jjones164 is charged with this extremely important decision.

And with the third overall pick in the POD Community Mock Draft, jjones164 has selected Oregon edge defender Kayvon Thibodeaux.

Here’s commenter jjones164 with the explanation for the pick:

Before reviewing the Texans roster, I REALLY wanted to take Malik Willis here. After looking over this roster and new coachings staff, I learned three things. Davis Mills may be the best player of the future on this entire roster (I know, that doesn’t say a lot). The new offensive coordinator, Pep Hamilton, has coached pocket passers such as Chad Pennington, Alex Smith, Jay Cutler, and Andrew Luck (at Stanford and Indianapolis). Lastly, this defense has ONE player that was drafted before Round 3.

With Lovie Smith in as the new head coach, the first thing needed is to get pressure on the QB for his cover-2 scheme to eventually work. Although he’s the third defensive end in a row selected in this draft, Kayvon Thibodeaux has the highest upside, most proven history, and the athleticism to potentially make him the best player from this entire draft class in the future. He’s been subject to rumors of lacking “work ethic” that tend to happen around draft time each year for one or two top prospects. The tape, and coaches at Oregon, dismiss this claim.

Kayvon has great lateral quickness, sets the edge against the run, and has the athleticism that he has already translated into PAC-12 and national accolades. He posted an unofficial 9.67 RAS, giving him the 47th highest defensive end RAS of 1,389 since 1987.

Lovie and company will gladly start this rebuild with the healthy Oregon product that brings his game-wrecking play that included 19 sacks, 35.5 tackles for loss, and three forced fumbles over his 30 collegiate games. He was projected for most of the season to be the No. 1 overall pick with good reason, and the Texans get a steal grabbing him at three.

Erik’s thoughts

I’m on board with jjones164’s logic here. The Texans defiantly should consider a quarterback at this spot, but there has been a lot of expressed confidence that Mills can carry the load. Beyond quarterback, the Texans have a lot of needs, including spots that line up with some of the top talents in this draft class, like offensive tackle, safety, and edge rusher. But despite the ability to go a lot of different ways, landing on Thibodeaux is probably the best outcome.

The Texans are looking for a pass rusher to slot in opposite Jonathan Greenard after Jake Martin left for the Jets in free agency and newly signed Ogbonnia Okoronkwo is currently pegged for that role. The problem is, he has never been a starter in the league and is much better as a situational pass rusher. By adding Thibodeaux (or maybe Jermaine Johnson) they would have a quality pairing to build from.

Another option I think they could seriously consider upgrading is offensive tackle. By adding Evan Neal (OT, Alabama) or Ikem Ekwonu (OT NC State) to upgrade Charlie Heck at right tackle—like the Lions did last year with Sewell—and pairing one of them up with Laremy Tunsil, it would create studly bookends on the line.

Time to vote!

Poll

What grade do you give this pick?

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  • 50%
    A
    (338 votes)
  • 32%
    B
    (215 votes)
  • 10%
    C
    (73 votes)
  • 2%
    D
    (16 votes)
  • 4%
    F
    (28 votes)
670 votes total Vote Now