June 29, 2022

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Who Texans will pick in first round, according to experts’ final mock drafts

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As all the NFL experts published their final mock drafts Thursday morning, it seems everyone’s in agreement that the Texans are deciding between two players at No. 3: North Carolina State offensive lineman Ickey Ekwonu and LSU cornerback Derek Stingley.

Stingley has been getting a lot of buzz this week as someone the Texans are high on despite many evaluators having Cincinnati’s Sauce Gardner as the higher-rated cornerback. The 20-year-old Stingley comes with a lot of upside, since he looked like one of the best players in the country as a freshman, but then he played just 10 games at LSU the next two seasons.

The Texans pick again at No. 13, and several mock drafts agree that Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton will be the pick there. However, there’s plenty of other options out there, including at least one mock draft having the Texans trading that pick to the Dallas Cowboys.

Here’s a look at some of the top mock drafts and who they predict the Texans will take in the first round …

Multiple mock drafts have the Texans walking away with North Carolina State offensive tackle Ickey Ekwonu (left) and Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton (right) in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Multiple mock drafts have the Texans walking away with North Carolina State offensive tackle Ickey Ekwonu (left) and Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton (right) in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

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3. Ickey Ekwonu, OT, NC State
13. Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame


This would be a coup for the Texans. Early mock drafts had the Texans considering the Notre Dame safety with the No. 3 pick, but then he ran a 4.59 40 at the Combine. Hamilton is an immediate difference-maker, even if he’s a step slow. Ekwonu and Hamilton are both thought to be really intelligent, quality locker-room guys, which perfectly fits the Texans profile.

3. Ickey Ekwonu, OT, NC State
13. Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
(See above)

3. Ickey Ekwonu, OT, NC State
13. Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
(See above)

ESPN's Todd McShay thinks the Texans will draft LSU cornerback Derek Stingley (left), then trade the 13th pick to the Dallas Cowboys' Jerry Jones.

ESPN’s Todd McShay thinks the Texans will draft LSU cornerback Derek Stingley (left), then trade the 13th pick to the Dallas Cowboys’ Jerry Jones.

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3. Derek Stingley, CB, LSU
13. Trade back with the Cowboys

McShay is hearing what a lot of us are hearing – the Texans love the 20-year-old Stingley. McShay has the Texans trading the 13th pick to the Cowboys for the No. 24 pick and Dallas’ second-rounder, plus next year’s second-rounder. McShay has the Texans taking Tulsa offensive tackle Tyler Smith with that late first-round pick. Smith is thought to be the fifth- or sixth-best offensive tackle in the draft.    

NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah thinks the Texans will draft North Carolina State offensive tackle Ickey Ekwonu and Florida State defensive end Jermaine Johnson in the first round.

NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah thinks the Texans will draft North Carolina State offensive tackle Ickey Ekwonu and Florida State defensive end Jermaine Johnson in the first round.

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3. Ickey Ekwonu, OT, NC State
13. Jermaine Johnson, DE, Florida State

Jeremiah’s mock draft has both Johnson and Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton available for the Texans at No. 13. That would leave an interesting decision for Nick Caserio, but the value of an elite pass rusher could tilt the pick in favor of Johnson.

NFL.com's Lance Zierlein anticipates the Texans taking LSU cornerback Derek Stingley (left) and Texas A&M offensive guard Kenyon Green in the first round.

NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein anticipates the Texans taking LSU cornerback Derek Stingley (left) and Texas A&M offensive guard Kenyon Green in the first round.

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3: Derek Stingley, CB, LSU
13: Kenyon Green, OG, Texas A&M

Zierlein has a surprise at the top of his mock with Detroit taking Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux instead of Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson at No. 2. That would leave Hutchinson available for the Texans, but Zierlein has them going with Stingley instead. Most people have Green slotted later in the first round, but the former Atascocita High School star would help the Texans’ offensive line immediately.

Eric Edholm has the Texans taking LSU cornerback Derek Stingley (left) and then Mississippi State offensive tackle Charles Cross (right).

Eric Edholm has the Texans taking LSU cornerback Derek Stingley (left) and then Mississippi State offensive tackle Charles Cross (right).

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3. Derek Stingley, CB, LSU
13. Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State

This would be a bit of a surprise, because most mocks have Cross being gone before the Texans pick at 13. He’ll be the next offensive tackle off the board after Ekwonu and Alabama’s Evan Neal, but the Texans would be thrilled if he’s still there for them to grab.



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