The Houston Texans have experienced remarkable success in the NFL Draft. The most impressive aspect is the consistency Houston is able to draft Pro Bowl players. The key to success in the NFL is drafting Pro Bowl players in the first round and finding valuable contributors in all other rounds. The Texans have been able to find both during their 15 year history. Here is the list of the Top 5 Houston Texans draft picks.
- Andre Johnson: Johnson is without question the best Texans draft pick of all time. Absolutely dominant on the field, Johnson had the ability to completely alter an opponents game plan with just one play. Johnson spent 12 of his 14 NFL seasons in Houston appearing in 169 of a possible 192 games. With 1012 receptions for 13,597 yards and 64 touchdowns. Johnson managed to be one of the most productive wide receivers and due to this he is number one on this list.
- J.J. Watt: The most exciting defense end in the league to watch play, Watt checks in at second on this list. Watt is sack machine, with 76 sacks in his first six seasons. Playing in 83 out of a possible 96 games, Watt has been able to compile the defensive statistics. that have fast tracked him to an eventual trip to Canton. The only concern when it comes to Watt is his longterm health. As a result of another back injury, Watt was forced to miss 13 games last season. If Watt is able to stay healthy, there is no question he will end up in the Hall of Fame and the top of this list. Until then, Watt will have to settle for second on this list.
- Duane Brown: While it is difficult to rank offensive lineman with skill position players, this is the perfect spot for Brown. A three time Pro Bowler and selected as an All-Pro once, Brown has been the consistent force on the offensive line for the Texans since 2008. Brown has appeared in 132 out a possible 142 games. Brown has been consistently healthy and consistently a great player.
- Owen Daniels: Here it is, the first player not selected in the first round. The Texans selected Daniels in the fourth round in 2006 draft and did not disappoint. Daniels compiled some impressive numbers during his eight years in a Texans uniform. With 385 receptions for 4617 yards and 29 touchdowns, Daniels was a consistent force alongside Johnson. The only knock on Daniels is he missed some portions of seasons, appearing in 100 out of a possible 123 games. The 23 games missed over eight years is not a large number, however large chunks of that number came from just two seasons. Daniels missed eight games in 2009 and 11 in 2013.
- DeAndre Hopkins: While it may seem low for a player as dominant as Hopkins, fifth on this list is the perfect spot. In time Hopkins will shoot up this list with a legitimate chance to overtake Johnson as number one. The only reason he is ranked fifth is due to only playing four seasons in the NFL so far. During his time, Hopkins has become nearly impossible to cover. Through his four seasons so far Hopkins has torched opponents for 317 receptions for 4487 yards and 23 touchdowns. This is only the beginning of what is expected to be a long and productive career. As long as Hopkins keeps producing at this rate, he will be the best draft pick in franchise history for the Texans.
There are many players that the Texans have drafted over the years that fell short of making this list. Some notable players include Jadeveon Clowney, Kareem Jackson, Connor Barwin, Glover Quin, Demeco Ryans and Mario Williams. These players have had productive careers in their own right. However they were not as successful in Houston or less athletic compared to the others on this list.
Jackson and Clowney have the best chance to make this list in the future. Jackson is just on the outside looking in when it comes to this list. Clowney can make the list as long as he stays healthy and improves his production. Clowney is one the most athletic players in the league and is able to take over the game on the defensive side of the ball. Playing alongside Watt without question improves what Clowney is able to accomplish.
For any NFL team, a list of draft picks comparable to the Texans is impressive. The fact that the Texans have been able to select such great players in the draft is extraordinary. During their 15 years they have been able to pick some of the best players in the league. As long as Houston can continue to draft great players at this rate, they will have great teams for years to come.