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#pounditSaturday, December 3, 2022

Texans could make ‘surprise’ draft pick at No. 3?

Lovie Smith in profile

Oct 24, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Houston Texans defensive coordinator Lovie Smith against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Texans have two picks in the top 13 of the NFL Draft this year, which gives them a great deal of flexibility. Assuming they do not trade back, no one seems to really know which position they might target with the first of their two selections.

The Texans are scheduled to pick at No. 3 overall and No. 13 overall. Ian Rapoport of NFL Media said Tuesday that they are not expected to trade back, but they could surprise some people with their selection. Defensive back is one area of need for Houston, and Rapoport thinks cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. is a name to watch.

“Considering his talents, it does not seem like (third overall) would be too early,” Rapoport said. “He’d fit perfectly into Lovie Smith’s scheme. This is one to watch. The Texans could do literally anything.”

Stingley is one of the more intriguing prospects in the draft. He had six interceptions in a huge freshman season at LSU in 2019. He had trouble staying on the field after that. Stingley missed three games in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and did not play well, but LSU had a bad year overall. He then suffered a Lisfranc injury last September and underwent season-ending surgery.

One draft analyst recently said Stingley’s stock is rapidly on the rise. If the Texans have interest in him at No. 3, that would help explain why.

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