Editors’ Note: As part of our ongoing post-draft coverage, we’re doing our very best to leave no stone unturned and bringing you draft recaps from each and every NFL franchise. Make sure you’re ready for your dynasty league rookie draft by staying up on all these articles, checking out our rookie SWOT series, rookie draft guide, rookie rankings, rookie draft cheat sheet and mock draft rooms. There are simply no better resources out there for dynasty fantasy football enthusiasts.
As we continue our team-by-team draft recaps, we come to the Houston Texans. On the strength of a stout defense and one truly great receiver in DeAndre Hopkins, Houston won the AFC South. The Texans addressed their middling offense this off-season, undergoing a massive facelift. In free agency, the Texans inked Brock Osweiler and Lamar Miller to big deals, and the team kept adding offensive talent in the draft. If Osweiler proves to be a solid starting quarterback, the Texans are in a position to be a real force.
Round 1, Pick 21 — Will Fuller, Receiver
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With a glaring hole across from Hopkins, Houston was expected to add at least one wideout in the draft, and the Texans didn’t waste any time making their move, taking Fuller 21st overall. Fuller is a speedster, lighting up the 40-yard dash in 4.32 seconds. He put up huge numbers in his final two seasons at Notre Dame, racking up 29 touchdowns over his sophomore and junior campaigns. In 2015, he averaged 20.3 yards per grab on his way to a 62-catch, 1,258-yard year. Fuller fills a big need for Houston and will likely start right away. He will immediately be a deep-ball threat — who should mesh well with the cannon-armed Osweiler — and will help draw some attention away from Hopkins.
Round 2, Pick 50 — Nick Martin, Center
Houston kept barking up the Notre Dame tree with its second pick as they nabbed Martin 50th overall. Martin spent his final year with the Irish playing center, but he is expected to be able to play multiple positions along the offensive line. With the investment Houston has made in Osweiler and Miller, this pick should help both of those players succeed.
Round 3, Pick 85 — Braxton Miller, Receiver
While Martin was a safe, boring pick, Houston rolled the dice with this one, but it’s a gamble a team without a lot of holes can afford to take. Miller, as we all know, is extremely new to the receiver position, but he is a dynamic playmaker with the ball in his hands. He has nice size (6-foot-1, 201 pounds) and wheels (4.5 40-yard dash), but he has a lot of work to do to learn the finer points of the position. At a minimum, Miller is a very intriguing wild card who adds even more speed to the Houston offense, and he could be a real weapon if things fall in line for him. With Cecil Shorts, Jaelen Strong and Keith Mumphery in front of him, the Texans’ depth chart isn’t all that intimidating.
Round 4, Pick 119 — Tyler Ervin, Running Back
Houston just can’t stop adding offensive talent. Similar to Miller, Ervin is a very intriguing player. He spent five years at San Jose State, but he didn’t post noteworthy numbers until this past year, when he racked up 1,601 rushing yards and 13 scores. He’s shown the ability to be a capable receiver, as well, hauling in 29 and 45 passes, respectively, the past two seasons. At 5-foot-10, 192 pounds, Ervin is likely best suited for a third-down role. He’s in a good situation to earn playing time, with Alfred Blue as his stiffest competition for the backup role. Texans’ Head Coach Bill O’Brien, a very creative offensive mind, should be able to take advantage of Ervin’s speed (4.41 40-yard dash) and skillset.
Round 5, Pick 159 — K.J. Dillon, Safety
Safety was one of the few weak spots for the Texans’ defense last year. Outside of receiver, it was their biggest need, and it’s a tad surprising they didn’t address it sooner. They’ll look to Dillon to give them a boost. Playing in the shadow of first-round pick and fellow West Virginia safety Karl Joseph, Dillon upped his game when Joseph went down with an injury in 2015. Dillon was voted Second Team All-Big 12 after finishing with 55 tackles, two picks and eight passes defended. His 4.53 40-yard dash fits in with the Texans’ theme of adding speed, which they did a ton of in this draft.
Round 5, Pick 66 — D.J. Reader, Defensive Tackle
Vince Wilfork is the Texans’ starting defensive tackle, but they may have landed his eventual replacement in Reader. Much like Miller, Reader generated a lot of buzz at the Senior Bowl. Reader played in just 25 games in his time at Clemson, recording 72 total tackles and four sacks. He is a good athlete for his size (6-foot-3, 327 pounds). Out of high school, Reader was recruited as an offensive lineman, and he actually spent some time in 2013 as a first baseman on Clemson’s baseball team.
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