Without a first or second round pick because of the Deshaun Watson trade the Texans had to make do with mainly Day 3 picks. Our Houston Texans 2018 NFL Draft Review analyzes each of the Texans picks in how they fit within their scheme and what value they provided.
Houston Texans 2018 NFL Draft Review
3rd Round, Pick #4: Justin Reid S Stanford
Reid was a player that some thought could be taken in the late first round but he ends up falling right into the lap of the Texans who are overhauling the safety position. With Tyrann Mathieu already on board Reid plays a similar style in that he can play as a safety back in zone coverage but can also line up across from receivers in the slot. Reid will compete to be the third safety and give the Texans some versatility at the position before possibly taking over for Andre Hal down the road.
3rd Round, Pick #16: Martinas Rankin OT Mississippi State
While Rankin isn’t going to wow you with his athletic traits he is a physical at the point of attack blocker who has enough lateral agility to cut off defenders in pass protection. Houston needs better protection up front and Rankin will compete with Sentreal Henderson at right tackle opposite of Julie’n Davenport.
3rd Round, Pick #34: Jordan Akins TE Central Florida
Tight end has always been a big part of a Bill O’Brien offense and with the concussion issues leading to CJ Fiedorowicz’s retirement it was clear that the Texans had to address the position. Akins has the potential to make an immediate impact as a move tight end who can stretch the seam, there were better prospects available including Ian Thomas from Indiana.
4th Round, Pick #3: Keke Coutee WR Texas Tech
— Brian Johannes (@Draft_Brian) April 2, 2018
A true satellite player Coutee thrives with the ball in his hand eluding defenders for big gains. Houston drafted a similar player in Braxton Miller who hasn’t worked out and Bruce Ellington is another player on the roster the three should compete for the slot corner position with the hopes of giving Deshaun Watson another playmaker.
6th Round, Pick #3: Duke Ejiofor DE Wake Forest
Injury issues caused Ejiofor to slide down the board as he’s much better than a sixth round pick. Ejiofor isn’t a bendy athlete and is a skilled technical pass rusher with lateral quickness and heavy hands. Ejiofor may never be a starter but will be used as a situational pass rusher either on the edge or even at the three technique.
6th Round, Pick #37: Jordan Thomas TE Mississippi State
After taking Akins in the third round the Texans double up on the position selecting Jordan Thomas who is much bigger at 6’6 265lbs and can play some inline. With a basketball background he has good body control, but he’s limited with his upside which means he’ll have an uphill climb to make the roster.
6th Round, Pick #40: Peter Kalambayi OLB Stanford
Looking to add more pass rushers to the Texans double dipped adding the athletic Kalambayi to the outside linebacker room. Kalamabyi is a better run defender than pass rusher but plays with good effort and will be a rotational player.
7th Round, Pick #4: Jermaine Kelly CB San Jose State
Kelly is a former Washington transfer who has solid size but lacks top end speed and change of direction ability. He’ll work as an outside corner but the Texans are deep at the position so it will be hard for Kelly to make this team.
Team Grade: B
Best Pick: Justin Reid
Biggest Reach: Jordan Akins