Houston Texans could stay in state to find their next starting CB
With as many as 12 starters set to hit free agency, Houston has a long list of needs this offseason.
Is quarterback one of them?
That depends on whether the Texans like the top QBs in this draft enough to take one with the No. 3 overall pick. Otherwise, Houston will need to stick with last year’s third-round pick out of Stanford, Davis Mills, for at least one more year.
If that’s the case and quarterback isn’t the top need, then fixing the offensive line has to be at or near the top of that list. Houston should have a shot at the highest-rated offensive tackle in the draft, Alabama’s Evan Neal, who would likely play right tackle and serve as a bookend to left tackle Laremy Tunsil.
But cornerback is also a sneaky need for the Texans.
One of the few things Houston did fairly well last season was intercept opposing teams, as their 17 picks tied them for fifth-most in the league. Problem is, CB Desmond King is among the UFA’s who could sign elsewhere. King tied for the team-lead this past season with 3 INTs.
The player he tied with, though, appears to be a part of the Texans’ building blocks in Lonnie Johnson, a 2019 second-round pick out of Kentucky. However, the CB pickings in Houston are fairly slim after Johnson.
So expect the team to at least consider drafting another cornerback this year, and one name to watch is University of Texas-San Antonio’s Tariq Woolen, one of the biggest CBs in the draft at 6-foot-3, 205 pounds. The former Forth Worth Arlington Heights player started his career for the Roadrunners as a little-used wide receiver before converting to cornerback his redshirt junior season. Woolen finished his career with 24 receptions for 263 yards and 1 TD and 63 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, 2 INTs and 9 passes defended.
Woolen is an ascending prospect, as he’s already turned heads during Senior Bowl practices. He was one of several players who stood out during the first day of practices, FanNation’s NFL Draft said. From FanNation: “The long-limbed corner will most likely translate to be a press corner due to his length and being above 200 pounds. While his technique proved to be immature Tuesday at practice, he did a great job showing the fluidity and traits to be a versatile corner option at the next level.”
Woolen also showed off his speed, as he had the fastest max speed during Tuesday’s practice at 22.45 MPH, according to Senior Bowl Director Jim Nagy.
A Woolen-Johnson pairing would also give the Texans two of the tallest CB duos in the league. Johnson is 6-foot-2, 213-pounds.
Woolen is the No. 74 overall prospect in the latest Fanspeak-Jake Rigdon big board, so it’s possible he won’t be available after the second round.
— TARIQ WOOLEN (@_Tariqwoolen) January 22, 2022