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2022 NFL mock draft: Houston Texans select Charles Cross

The Houston Texans continue to try and build through the trenches in our Community Mock.

Arkansas v Mississippi State Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

The Houston Texans are back on the clock in our Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft after selecting Oregon edge defender Kayvon Thibodeaux with their third overall pick. Pride of Detroit commenter jjones164 is the acting general manager for the Texans this year, and here’s a look at the board he’s staring at for the 13th pick in the draft.

POD Community Mock Draft picks so far:

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan
  2. Detroit Lions: Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia
  3. Houston Texans: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon
  4. New York Jets: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
  5. New York Giants: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
  6. Carolina Panthers: Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State
  7. New York Giants: Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
  8. Atlanta Falcons: Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh
  9. Seattle Seahawks: Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
  10. New York Jets: Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
  11. Washington Commanders: Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU
  12. Minnesota Vikings: Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington

Most of the premier positions have been attacked thus far in free agency, and the Texans could use help just about everywhere, leaving jjones164 with a daunting task ahead.

With the 13th pick in the Pride of Detroit Community Mock, the Houston Texans have selected Charles Cross, offensive tackle out of Mississippi State.

Here’s jjones164 with the explanation:

With the Texans heading into this draft needing help at *rechecks roster*... everything, I’m left with a plethora of options at 13. I’ve already landed Thibodeaux for the next five years to help solidify the edge at pick No. 3. Players I considered at pick 13 were Drake London, Devin Lloyd and Jordan Davis. I had a shot at the top OT at three, but couldn’t pass on Thibs. Now I’ll gladly take Charles Cross (Mississippi State) to bookend my OL with Laremy Tunsil still on the left side for two more years.

Cross is a former five-star recruit from Mississippi who logged 22 official career starts, as well as three during his redshirt freshman season, at left tackle for the Bulldogs under Mike Leach’s “air raid,” zone run-scheme offense. Cross lived up to his five-star billing in 2020 by being named by the coaches for the freshman All-SEC team as a redshirt freshman. He then continued his development in his sophomore campaign, allowing only six QB pressures on 683 pass plays in 2021. His play earned him first-team All-SEC honors and the Kent Hull Trophy (won by new teammate Laremy Tunsil in 2014).

Cross isn’t your typical size for an SEC tackle, but he dominates with a quick first step, superb technique, strength, and athleticism. His athleticism keeps him glued to edge rushers in pass protection, and his toughness is on display in the run game.

If I had a crystal ball and knew Jermaine Johnson II would still be on the board right now, would I have gone Evan Neal at three and Johnson at 13? It’s debatable, but I’m happy with what fell to me. Cross could very well be off the board at 13 (many mocks now have him going to Seattle at 9). If both Thibs and Cross fell to the Texans at three and 13, I believe these selections would be a great start to building their trenches on both sides of the ball.

Erik’s thoughts:

I suggested taking a tackle at pick No. 3, so I am on board with getting Cross here. With so much focus being on the top two tackles, Cross gets lost on the shuffle a bit, but he is well worth a top-16 pick, so in my opinion, the value of this addition is on point.

I still have a sneaky suspicion that the Texans could be in the market for a quarterback and even though Malik Willis and Kenny Pickett are off the board, Mississippi’s Matt Corral—who some have as their No. 1 quarterback in this class—could get some attention from the Texans.

You can follow along with every pick + grades in our Community Mock Draft tracker.

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