NFL Preview 2021: Why Texans Will End Up With First Pick In 2022 NFL Draft

Can they work through the noise?


If the Houston Texans are looking for a silver lining in their current situation, it’s that they should have the opportunity to lock up top-tier talent in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Taking a look at win totals for the 2021 season, DraftKings has the Texans with the lowest win total on the board at four regular season victories. The Detroit Lions aren’t far off with their over/under set at 4.5, but at this point, there’s one pretty glaring difference between the two teams: One of them has a plan under center.

The Lions are entering a new era with Jared Goff as quarterback following the blockbuster offseason trade that sent Matthew Stafford out west (where his Los Angeles Rams are sitting at 10.5 on the season.)

While Goff isn’t necessarily a Hall of Fame-caliber quarterback, 3,952 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2020 are numbers that you can work with. And at least Goff can guarantee something the Texans can’t: stability at quarterback.

Watson currently is under investigation by the league and police regarding his involvement in 22 lawsuits that allege sexual assault and misconduct, and that’s in addition to an ongoing criminal misconduct investigation. The Texans have elected to take no action, as he is on the 53-man roster and general manager Nick Caserio has continued to brush off the situation. He told reporters Wednesday “there’s more important things to talk about.”

Perhaps those comments are just further evidence of an unstable front office situation that is centered around Caserio, the longtime New England Patriots executive who finally got his shot with the Texans last offseason. He brought with him Jack Easterby, whose involvement in team decisions has angered many.

The biggest question for the Texans — beyond what they’ll do at quarterback, because Tyrod Taylor and Davis Mills aren’t going to be a winning duo — is whether they can avoid all of the noise and get out of their own way.

And despite all of the off-field issues at play here, the Texans did see major changes in their on-field system, too. Star defensive lineman J.J. Watt requested a trade and is now an Arizona Cardinal, with whom he’ll join former Texan DeAndre Hopkins. Wide receiver Will Fuller also is gone and will spend 2021 with the Miami Dolphins.

There were many, many additions — because how could there not be? Specifically, the running backs room saw Mark Ingram, former Patriot Rex Burkhead and Phillip Lindsay come to get things going. But can that be enough, with everything else going on?

It doesn’t seem likely.

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