The 15 most likely Texans second-round draft targets at No. 42 overall

We’re six days out from the 2024 NFL draft, but seven from when theHouston Texans are on the clock.

Even without a first-round pick, Houston should feel confident heading into the regular season. Quarterback C.J. Stroud is coming off one of the best seasons for a rookie in league history. Defensive end Will Anderson Jr. lived up to the hype of the No. 3 overall pick after surpassing J.J. Watt’s rookie sack record.

Both first-round selections took home Rookie of the Year honors after helping the Texans secure their first AFC South division title in four seasons. Their reward? Reinforcements.

General manager Nick Caserio bolstered both sides of the ball to keep pace with the rest of the division. Running back Joe Mixon should elevate last season’s 23rd-ranked rushing attack. Pro Bowl receiver Stefon Diggs joins an arsenal with established weapons in Dalton Schultz and Nico Collins, plus a rising star in Tank Dell.

On defense, Katy native Danielle Hunter returns home after nine seasons in Minnesota. Last season, the four-time Pro Bowl defensive end led the league in tackles for loss with 23.5 stops and finished top-five in sacks with 16.5. Linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair, defensive lineman Denico Autry and cornerback Jeff Okudah should be serviceable replacements form Blake Cashman, Sheldon Rankins and Steven Nelson, respectively

With the No. 42 overall pick, Caserio could have options. How does he feel about the defensive line class? Is Okudah a long-term option opposite Derek Stingley Jr.? What about adding a linebacker? DeMeco Ryans has a type and there’s one former SEC standout who could fit the bill.

Everyone knows that Alabama’s Terrion Arnold, Texas’ Byron Murphy, and Toledo’s Quinyon Mitchell won’t be available when the Texans are on the clock, but who are the realistic options?

Here are 15 prospects that could be targeted at No. 42 overall.

Dec 3, 2022; Atlanta, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs defensive back Kamari Lassiter (3) reacts following a stop against the LSU Tigers during the second quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Braden Fiske

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports)

Edgerrin Cooper

Sep 23, 2023; College Station, Texas, USA; Texas A&M Aggies linebacker Edgerrin Cooper (45) sacks Auburn Tigers quarterback Payton Thorne (1) during the first half at Kyle Field. Mandatory Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Sainristil


(Sarah Phipps-USA TODAY Sports)

(Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports)

Ohio State Buckeyes defensive tackle Mike Hall (51) and defensive lineman Noah Potter (97) run drills during a spring football practice at the Woody Hayes Athletics Center in Columbus on March 22, 2022.

Ncaa Football Ohio State Spring Practice

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – DECEMBER 02: Javon Bullard #22 of the Georgia Bulldogs misses an interception during the first quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the SEC Championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 02, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Payton Wilson

(Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)

Oct 7, 2022; Piscataway, New Jersey, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights defensive back Max Melton (16) celebrates after an interception during the first half against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at SHI Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports)

Nov 5, 2022; Stanford, California, USA; Washington State Cougars defensive back Jaden Hicks (25) returns a fumble for a touchdown against the Stanford Cardinal during the second quarter at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 18, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers running back Vincent Davis (22) recovers a fumble ahead of Western Michigan Broncos defensive lineman Marshawn Kneeland (94) during the second quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports


Nov 18, 2023; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers defensive tackle Maason Smith (0) pressures Georgia State Panthers quarterback Darren Grainger (3) in third quarter action at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Dobbins-USA TODAY Sports

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