Considering what he had to work with, in our opinion, Houston Texans general manager Nick Caserio did an impressive job in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Not that Pro Football Focus are so impressed.
PFF recently looked at each team’s draft class from 2021, and while they’ve raised Houston’s initial C- to a B-, it still looks disappointing.
Picking Davis Mills saves the Texans to some degree because he’s played in enough games to go significantly higher in a new draft today. He had overall ratings of 85.9, 76.3 and 78.0 in three separate starts last season despite an overall rating of 58.8. It was enough to make him the starter this season and slightly increase that revaluation. – Michael Renner, PFF
The Texans weren’t on the scoreboard until Pick 67 thanks to Caserio’s predecessor, Bill O’Brien. Despite this, and the fact that they only picked twice in the top 100, Caserio managed to sign five players who started at least two games.
Quarterback Davis Mills was thrown into the deep end thanks to an injury to starter Tyrod Taylor in Week 2, and although he showed flashes, it was clear he wasn’t ready.
Returning to the bench after Taylor’s return did Mills a world of good, however, and once he finally returned to the starting role, he never looked back. Yes, he still has a lot to work on, and whether or not he can be their long-term starter is uncertain. But given the guns he had to work with and Houston’s poor offensive line, Mills continually improved.
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Davis Mills and Brevin Jordan
Davis Mills and Nico Collins
Wide receiver Nico Collins was selected 89th overall, and while his numbers weren’t staggering, he had a solid year.
Again, a disparate squad with a new coaching staff isn’t exactly a situation many would thrive in, so some grace should be given to all rookies in this class.
Still, Collins played in 14 games, starting eight, and recorded 33 receptions for 446 yards and a touchdown.
Tight end Brevin Jordan was next at 147 and, as was the case with most Houston rookies, he was loosened up as the season progressed. From two games, Jordan had 20 receptions for 178 yards and three touchdowns. Like Collins, he showed potential.
At 170, Houston acquired TCU linebacker Garret Wallow, who actually played in every game. A special team core that has gradually seen its defensive role grow, Wallow represents good value at the position.
And finally, arguably their best value pick of the year, at 195, Houston grabbed defensive tackle Roy Lopez. In 15 starts, he took on a key role alongside Maliek Collins up front, finishing with a sack, 31 tackles and a fumble recovery.
Caserio has spoken before about the importance of hitting singles and doubles when building a roster – and this class delivered just that.
If that’s not worth at least a B+, what is?