Houston Texans 2024 NFL draft picks: Selection analysis

ByD.J. Bien-Aime ESPN logo
Tuesday, April 30, 2024

HOUSTON -- The 2024 NFL draftkicked off Thursday in Detroit, but TheHouston Texanselected to trade out of Day 1 last month.

Here's a look at each of Houston's scheduled selections:

Analysis of every pick | Updated depth chart

Round 2, No. 42 overall:Kamari Lassiter, CB, Georgia

My take: The Texans went young and drafted to fill their cornerback need after not being aggressive in free agency. Lassiter was second-team All-Sec in 2023 after finishing with eight pass breakups and is known for having good cover skills. The Texans let Steven Nelson walk in the offseason but signed two former top-10 picks from the 2020 draft class in Jeff Okudah, and C.J. Henderson to one-year deals. But this will be Okudah and Henderson's third team in five seasons. So Lassiter may give them a long term answer.

Will he start as a rookie? The Texans have a vacant cornerback spot across from Derek Stingley Jr and Lassiter will have every opportunity to earn it. His main competitors are Okudah and Henderson, but both are on one-year deals. So if Lassiter performs well enough in practice, it'll be his job. Since the Texans don't have a proven long-term answer opposite Stingley, the Texans are hoping a guy like Lassiter could become just that.

Round 2, No. 59:Blake Fisher, OT, Notre Dame

My take: The Texans invested more valuable capital into the offensive line with this selection. Fisher showed versatility during his college career by playing left and right tackle. The Texans starting tackles are set with Laremy Tunsil and Tytus Howard, but the depth behind them is unproven and have only five total players at the position. If Howard or Tunsil miss games, which they did in 2023, they would have a talented backup in Fisher to step in at either spot.

Will he start as a rookie? Fisher would start if Tunsil or Howard missed a game. But as long as the expensive duo are healthy, they'll be in the starting lineup. This move was more about the depth behind them. Fisher gives them a developmental and cost effective piece instead of relying on players on one-year deals likeCharlie Heck, David Sharpeand Jaylon Thomas.

Round 3, No. 78: Calen Bullock, S, USC

My take: The Texans added to a safety room that had questions going into 2024. SafetyJimmie Ward's 2023 season ended on injured reserve (quad), and he's entering the last year of his deal and turns 33 in July. The Texans also wanted to add competition to Jalen Pitre, who regressed in Year 2 (zero interceptions after having five as a rookie). Bullock adds more competition to the room and could push for a starting role.

Key stat for this player: Bullock is a ballhawk as he had nine interceptions in his college career. Pitre and Ward combined for one interception last year so adding a player capable of taking the ball away could elevate the defense in 2024. Bullock's ability to create takeaways could help him push for a starting role even though Pitre was a second-round pick and Ward is a veteran.

Round 4, No. 123: Cade Stover, TE, Ohio State

My take: Stover reunites with his former college quarterbackC.J. Stroud. Stover had 1,058 yards and 10 touchdowns in his career and was first-team All-Big Ten in 2023. The Texans are investing in their future at tight end beyond recently signed Dalton Schultz. Former 2021 draft pick Brevin Jordan is an impending free agent next offseason. Stover gives them depth and could potentially become a contributor if Jordan walks in 2025.

Round 6, No. 188 (from Las Vegas via New England and Minnesota): Jamal Hill, LB, Oregon

My take: The Texans are adding to a linebacker room that has two starters in Azeez Al-Shaair, who is on a three-year, 34 million deal, and Christian Harris, who's entering his third season. Hill won't be expected to start, but he could be a special teams contributor with his 4.41 speed.

Round 6, No. 205 (from Detroit): Jawhar Jordan, RB, Louisville

My take: Jordan was drafted to compete for the backup running back role behind Joe Mixon. Former 2022 fourth-round pick Dameon Pierceis likely the backup, but after being invisible towards the end of last season, he'll have to earn it. Jordan will have an opportunity.

Round 7, No. 238 (from New Orleans):Solomon Byrd, DE, USC

My take: Ryans loves defensive linemen and feels you can't have enough. The former USC standout had 20 sacks in his career. The expectation will be for him to make the back end of the roster or be on the practice squad to develop.

Round 7, No. 247:Marcus Harris, DT, Auburn

My take: Caserio admitted the Texans considered drafting a defensive tackle earlier in rounds two and three, but the run on defensive lineman prevented him. But adding Harris gives them a guy who was disruptive in 2023 with 11.5 tackles for loss.

Round 7, No. 249:LaDarius Henderson, OL, Michigan

My take:Henderson started games at left guard and left tackle during his college career, so he brings versatility to the backup offensive line group.

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