One year later, how beneficial has each pick of the Texans 2021 draft class been and what can we expect moving forward?
Just over a year ago, Nick Caserio conducted his first draft as General Manager of the Texans. Caserio and the Texans went in to that draft with five draft picks, and the first one didn’t even come until the third round. It looked like a draft that, at best, would bring in some decent starters, special teams players, and maybe, if we got lucky, a franchise player. While we can’t fully decipher how good the players are going to be after year one, we can certainly give our best educated guess based on last years results.
Without further ado, here is the Texans 2021 draft class regraded:
Pick 67: Davis Mills, QB, Stanford
When Mills’ name was called last year, many Texans fans, including myself, were scratching their heads. It felt like a waste of a pick to take a swing on a relatively unknown QB who had only played 13 games in college. Especially when our team had so many other needs. However, just a year later, Mills has shown that he has the potential to be a franchise QB. While there is still a lot that he has to prove, after ending the season playing at an elite level, there’s certainly a chance.
At best Mills becomes that franchise guy who makes a few pro bowls, and if Caserio can surround him with great talent, there could even be a future in which he leads us to a super bowl. At the worst I see Mills bouncing around the league as a journeyman, like a Case Keenum or a Ryan Fitzpatrick. Even if that’s all he amounts to, he would still be decent value for where he was selected.
Pick 89: Nico Collins, WR, Michigan
Nico Collins was a fan-favorite the moment he was drafted. The six foot four receiver who ran a 4.43 forty at the combine was amongst the most athletically talented players in the 2021 NFL draft. Collins also possessed elite jump ball ability and was a good route runner coming out of college. His only question mark was that he opted-out out the 2020 season because of COVID. In 11 games last year for the Texans, Collins had four hundred forty-six yards. On that pace, Collins would have posted nearly seven hundred yards if he was healthy for all 17 games. However he wasn’t.
Injuries are the biggest concern for Collins, but if can get past them, Nico could become an elite combination of jump ball ability and speed. It’s a stretch, but maybe even as good as someone like AJ Green. At the worst Collins flashes his talent, but struggles with injury year after year and ends up retiring early. There’s a lot to like with the former Wolverine, and if he can stay on the field, then he has all the potential in the world to become a superstar wideout.
Pick 147: Brevin Jordan, TE, Miami
Brevin Jordan played in only nine games last year after missing roughly half the season due to injury. But in those nine games, Brevin posted close to two hundred yards, and three touchdowns. Extremely solid numbers for a rookie tight end, especially one that was taken in the fifth round. Jordan certainly has the potential to become the second best tight end from his class (I just don’t see him surpassing Pitts). And, with his unique speed and athleticism, he could definitely become the future of that position for the Texans. Again, like with Collins, injuries are a concern for Brevin. He missed half the year in 2021, but if he can get past those, then I think he can become an above average tight end in the league.
Pick 170: Garret Wallow, LB, TCU
In one of my previous articles, I keyed in on Wallow, and gave a much more in depth breakdown of his play, but I will also summarize it here. Wallow started two games in 2021, and in those two games he played decently. He was more of a speacial teams player, so we didn’t get to see a lot of his real play. Yet, both Caserio and fellow LB Christian Kirksey gave Wallow significant praise for his physical and on-field improvements this off-season. While next year will tell a lot for Wallow, there is definitely potential there.
Pick 195: Roy Lopez, DT, Arizona
The Lopez pick is just the definition of a great selection. As a sixth round rookie, Lopez earned the starting job in training camp, and established himself as arguably the top defensive tackle in the draft. Not to mention, he brings the energy off the field. While it could have all been a one year wonder, if Lopez keeps this up, he could become one of the biggest steals of the entire draft.
To sum it all up, Nick Caserio may have gone five for five with this draft class. That is certainly not an easy feat, especially when your first pick doesn’t come until round three. He addressed key positions of need and addressed them well. This draft marked the beginning of the Caserio era, and hopefully that era lasts a long time.
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