2023 NFL Draft grades: Houston Texans were aggressive for the right reasons

Overall Houston Texas grade: A-

Draft picks? Who needs them, man? The Texans left the draft with C.J. Stroud and Will Anderson Jr. Giving up their first-round pick in 2024, which will still probably be quite high, stings, but they have the Browns’ first-round pick next year as a buffer. That should matter when talking about the trade up to get Anderson directly after taking Stroud. The thing is, Anderson’s talent might warrant it. He has been as dominant as college football players come over the past three years and is a great fit for Ryans’ defense.

Getting Stroud was the most important piece of the Texans’ draft class, but they also added arguably the best overall player in Anderson. It’s fun and Anderson has a clear path toward being dominant in the NFL. Getting Tank Dell in the third round was a solid pickup too, especially considering they needed some more receiver talent for their new franchise quarterback. Getting Stroud with the second pick and having the Browns’ pick next year makes their trade for Anderson more palatable. A team in desperate need of elite talent potentially walked away from the draft with two elite players. Not bad.

Favorite pick: C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State (2nd overall)

The Texans did it! They made the sensible selection and took the Ohio State quarterback to be their new franchise quarterback with head coach DeMeco Ryans. Stroud had a bit of a wild draft process narrative-wise, but he’s supremely talented and has all the physical talent and skills necessary to grow into a bonafide franchise quarterback. Stroud has been worthy of this selection the entire draft process and will probably be the Texans’ starting quarterback soon. It was nice to see the Ryans era get off to a strong start with the Stroud pick.

Least favorite pick: Juice Scruggs, C, Penn State (62nd overall)

This was a head-scratcher. Scruggs wasn’t projected to come off the board until way later than this spot and it was especially odd with John Michael Schmitz on the board. Perhaps the Texans know something everyone else doesn’t and Scruggs turns out to be a stud, but right now it’s confusing.

Full Texans draft

Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud (R1, 2nd overall)

Alabama edge Will Anderson Jr. (R1, 3rd)

Penn State C Juice Scruggs (R2, 62nd)

Houston WR Tank Dell (R3, 69th)

TCU edge Dylan Horton (R4, 109th)

Alabama LB Henry To'oTo'o (R5, 167th)

Notre Dame OG Jarrett Patterson (R6, 201st)

Iowa State WR Xavier Hutchinson (R6, 205th)

Pittsburgh S Brandon Hill (R7, 248th)