The Houston-area high school football stars to look for in next rounds of NFL Draft

A year after the entire NFL Draft was conducted virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the league is attempting to return to some normalcy.

The 2021 NFL Draft is being held in Cleveland. Rounds 4 through 7 are underway. You can watch live on ABC13.

Houston has eight picks in this year's draft, but didn't take their first player until the 3rd round. That's when the Texans selected Davis Mills, a quarterback from Stanford, as the 67th pick overall.



The Texans had another pick in the fourth. They selected Nico Collins, a wide receiver from the University of Michigan.



Next up, Houston has two picks in the fifth, three sixth-round picks and one in the seventh round.

Plus, there are several athletes with Houston origins who could be selected. Here are the Houston-area players to look out for in this year's NFL draft.

JAYLEN WADDLE , WR, UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA

The wide receiver, who attended Episcopal High School in Bellaire, was picked by the Miami Dolphins with the No. 6 pick.



EMBED More News Videos

Watch Jaylen Waddle take the field back in his high school days.



With blazing speed, he was a dangerous return man with the Tide. Some have knocked his size, but quickly get past that when they see him play.

Fact: He played in only six games last season because of a broken left ankle.

WATCH: 5 things you didn't know about Jaylen Waddle
EMBED More News Videos

Yes, he even reveals his childhood crush! Hit play to hear all about it.



JOSEPH OSSAI, LB, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS

The Conroe native, who attended Oak Ridge High School, was picked 69th overall by the Cincinnati Bengals. He was expected to be a second-round pick, but he fell to the Bengals in round three.



Ossai became a finalist for the Houston Touchdown Club's Defensive Player of the Year and a top-150 overall recruit nationally, according to the NFL.

He was named the Defensive MVP of Texas' Alamo Bowl win over Utah. He was also named a first-team Associated Press All-American and first-team all-conference selection.

KYLE TRASK, QB, FLORIDA

With the last pick in Round 2 on Friday, the defending champion Buccaneers drafted Trask!



The 23-year-old Manvel native is no stranger to hard work. He saw limited playing time during his time at Manvel High School and served as a backup to D'Eriq King. In 2020, he was named a finalist for the 2020 Heisman Trophy award.

Plus, his love for the game is generational. His grandfather, Orville Trask, played defensive tackle for the Houston Oilers in the 60s.

"He would teach me how to kick the ball, throw the ball ... that was kind of my very first memory," said the Kyle. "He's part of the reason I even started playing in the first place."

WATCH: How Kyle Trask's grandfather impacted his game
EMBED More News Videos

The love for the game of football runs deep in the Trask family. Hit play to hear more about Kyle's Trask's biggest inspiration.



SAM COSMI, OT, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS

Born and raised in Atascocita, Cosmi will now be taking his talents to Washington! He was selected 51st overall on Friday by the Washington Football Team.



He started 13 of 14 games played at right tackle in 2018 and received Freshman All-American accolades, according to the NFL.

Fact: Started first eight games for Texas last season before opting out of rest of the season.

WALKER LITTLE, OL, STANFORD

The 22-year-old says he's wanted to become a football player since he was a young boy.

Now, the Stanford graduate, who also attended Episcopal High School in Bellaire, is headed to Jacksonville, Florida! He was selected as the 45th overall pick on Friday.

EMBED More News Videos

Watch the moment Walker Little finds out he's going to Jacksonville.



Little was named the Pac-12 Freshman Offensive Co-Player of the Year in 2017, when he became Stanford's first true freshman to start at left tackle since 2000, and earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors as a sophomore.

He entered the 2019 season as an Outland Trophy candidate and was projected as a top-15 draft pick, but Little suffered a season-ending knee injury in the season opener against Northwestern.

WATCH: What Walker Little learned during his time at Stanford
EMBED More News Videos

ABC13's Joe Gleason sat down with Walker Little, who recalls being at his kindergarten graduation and saying, "When I grow up, I want to be a football player." Hit play to watch his pre-NFL draft interview.



PAYTON TURNER, DE, UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON

Just a few years ago, he was a thin basketball player at Westside High School who was convinced to give football a try. Now, he's headed to New Orleans!

Turner was the first UH player to be selected in this year's draft. He was picked by the New Orleans Saints with the 28th selection.

In his four-year career, Turner appeared in 39 games and finished with 115 tackles, 25.0 tackles for loss and 10.0 sacks, according to UH. He was selected to the American's All-Conference Second Team in 2020.

WATCH: Payton Turner talks going from basketball to football
EMBED More News Videos

What's it like going from the hardwood to the football field? ABC13's Greg Bailey sits down with Turner to hear all about it.



MARQUEZ STEVENSON, WR, UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON

With the 203rd pick in the 6th round, the Buffalo Bills draft Stevenson!



This speedy wide receiver hails from Shreveport, Louisiana.

In 2020, the team captain finished his career with 2,269 receiving yards (the 13th in program history, according to UH), 147 receptions (17th in program history) and 22 touchdown catches (tied for sixth in program history.)

JAELON DARDEN, WR, NORTH TEXAS

With the 129th overall pick on Saturday, the Buccaneers drafted Darden!



Darden was a quarterback during his time at Eisenhower High School and has shot up draft boards due to his stellar season this year.

At one point, he led the nation in touchdown receptions.

Heisman Trophy winner Devonta Smith had 23 TDs in 13 games, but Darden scored 19 in just nine games.

MARVIN WILSON, DL, FLORIDA STATE

Wilson, 22, is the third player who attended Episcopal High School who's expected to be drafted.

Wilson was considered the top defensive tackle prospect in the country after racking up 71 tackles for loss and 42 sacks at Episcopal, according to the NFL.

WATCH: See how Marvin Wilson handled his game at Episcopal HS
EMBED More News Videos

HOMEGROWN: As we celebrate local players in the NFL Draft, check out this video from when Marvin Wilson played at Episcopal.



BRENNAN EAGLES, WR, TEXAS

Eagles was a top-100 overall prospect nationally out of Alief Taylor High School in 2018, the NFL says.

The three-year wide receiver played in 32 games with 15 starts in his career.

EMBED More News Videos

Watch UT's Brennan Eagles take the field back in his high school days.



According to UT, he earned honorable mention All-Big 12 as a wide receiver in 2020, a pre-season All-Big 12 Second Team selection by Athlon Sports, and a a second-team preseason All-Texas selection by Dave Campbell's Texas Football.

RAKEEM BOYD, RB, ARKANSAS

The New Orleans native who attended Stratford High School originally signed with Texas A&M, but later went to Independence Community College in Kansas. He ran over 2,100 yards and scored 13 TDs with the Razorbacks.

EMBED More News Videos

Watch Rakeem Boyd take the field in his high school days.



He played a vital part of the offense for the first seven games of 2020, according to the NFL, before opting out for the remainder of the season to prepare for the draft.

RASHAWN SLATER, OT, NORTHWESTERN

With the 13th selection, the Los Angeles Chargers picked Sugar Land native Rashawn Slater.



The Associated Press and ESPN contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.