There aren’t many great offensive tackles in this year’s NFL draft. Let’s take a look at how the Houston Texans can trade up to go get their guy.
Let’s yada-yada through the “Houston Texans desperately need offensive line help” talk. If you’re here, you likely already know this. You likely already know that Deshaun Watson was sacked a league-high 62 times and hit an additional 133 times last season.
That’s simply unacceptable. It’s a problem that the Texans know they need to fix. They have begun to take steps in order to fix it but they need to do more to protect Watson and to take the next step as a team to become a true contender.
So far this offseason, the Texans have re-signed Seantrel Henderson to retake the right tackle job after he was hurt half a game into the 2018 season. The team also went out and signed former Viking and Panther tackle Matt Kalil to compete with Julien Davenport for the left tackle job.
So, Henderson and Kalil join Davenport, Martinas Rankin, Nick Martin, Senio Kelemete, and Zach Fulton to try to protect Watson better in 2019 than 2018. However, the Houston Texans still need to try to do more to keep their franchise quarterback upright.
There are plenty of offensive line prospects the Texans could target in the draft in just three short weeks. There are guys like Cody Ford a tweener guard-tackle prospect from Oklahoma and Garrett Bradbury a stud interior lineman could play either guard spot or at center.
However, the Houston Texans should really look to target a bonafide tackle who could be a plug and play guy right out of the draft. There are really only three prospects that scream that profile and it’s looking increasingly unlikely that any of the three may fall to the Texans at 23 overall.
Those three guys are Jawaan Taylor, Jonah Williams, and Andre Dillard. Taylor is pretty much widely viewed as the top tackle on most draft boards and is a virtual lock to be a top 10 selection. The jury is split between Williams and Dillard on where they will go but the majority of them have both guys off the board before the Texans pick.
Of course, there is a chance that if the Texans sit pat at 23 that one of these guys will fall to them and they can bolster their tackle depth chart at 23. But, I don’t think that’s a realistic possibility and the team may very well have to trade up in order to ensure they get their guy at tackle.
Taylor will probably be out of the Houston Texans draft range and trade up range. So, that leaves Williams and Dillard who could both probably slide into either range but in order to ensure that the team lands one of them they’ll need to trade up.
The Texans will probably have to move up to the mid-teens in order to ensure that they can get their guy. There are two teams in the mid-to-late teens that could take a tackle so they’ll need to be jumped. Those two teams are the Panthers at 16 and the Vikings at 18.
Obviously, the Texans would have to give up their first-round pick this year to trade up. So, coupling that first round pick, which has a value of 760, according to both the WalterFootball trade value chart and the DraftTek trade value chart.
The range that the Texans will be looking to get to are picks 13-15 who are owned by the Dolphins, Falcons, and Redskins, respectively. The Dolphins are rebuilding and could look to move back to acquire more assets. The Falcons are in a retooling so the case is the same.
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The Redskins are a bit of an enigma. They are indeed of a quarterback but they may not be able to get good value at 15. They also may be interested in trading for Josh Rosen if the Cardinals draft Kyler Murray and if that’s the case they may want to recoup the pick(s) they lost in acquiring Rosen.
Pick 13 has an assigned value of 1,150, 14 at 1,100, and 15 at 1,050. So if the Texans paired their first round selection alongside either the 54th or 55th overall picks values of 360 and 350, that should theoretically be enough to get either 14 or 15. To get 13, the Texans would likely have to add a late round pick, a 5th rounder could add enough value but they may have to tap into a 2020 4th rounder to get the deal done.
Regardless of which spot they may pursue, it is very possible for the Houston Texans to go up and get their guy at offensive tackle. Knowing this, all there is left to do is hope the Texans fall in love with either Dillard or Williams and pull the trigger to go him. Both guys would be vast improvements on the line to keep Watson upright.
The price isn’t high either, according to those charts. The Texans would only have 5-6 picks in the draft but they would still have one in each of the first three rounds so the team should be able to get a massive upgrade at tackle and still add a couple of other immediate difference makers.
What would you think of the Houston Texans using a pick or two to go and get either of Dillard or Williams? Would either guy be worth it? One more than the other? Drop your thoughts in the comments below!