3 reasons the Houston Texans may exceed expectations in 2022

Houston Texans fans pose for a photo at the NFL Draft Theater. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Houston Texans fans pose for a photo at the NFL Draft Theater. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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Fantasy Football, Dameon Pierce, Houston Texans (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

2. The Houston Texans’ rookie class has plenty of upside

Draft picks are as good as the team that holds them. What’s the point of having a selection in the top 10 if you aren’t adept at identifying talent? Fortunately for the Texans, it looks like they got the right man to oversee their personnel decisions in Nick Caserio.

Even though Caserio was dealt a bad hand when he took over, he’s done his best to purge Houston’s roster of underachieving or expensive players since taking over. While there’s still plenty of work left, the general manager might have hit it out of the ballpark in this year’s draft.

The Texans had nine picks, four in the top 50 in this year’s selection meeting and there could be as many as four rookie starters in their lineup in Week 1. Wide receiver John Mitchie III, one of their two second-round choices, will miss the year after being diagnosed with APL (a type of Leukemia). On the bright side, it’s one of the most curable kinds and there’s a good chance he will beat it.

But even without Metchie, the Texans’ 2022 class looks good. Cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. (No. 3 overall) is ready to roll and so is guard Kenyon Green, who dealt with a concussion not long ago but is back in the fold. Both Stingley and Green are slated to take on big roles in 2022. Similarly, safety Jalen Pitre — the Texans’ other second-rounder — will give Lovie Smith, who will moonlight as Houston’s defensive coordinator, a movable chess piece.

Last but not least is running back Dameon Pierce, who showed out in the offseason and is set to become a key cog in the Texans’ offense. While you don’t want to see many rookies in featured roles from Day 1, Houston doesn’t have many alternatives and this could turn out to best as they will be able to gain valuable experience right off the bat.