With less than three weeks remaining until the 2022 NFL Draft, a lot of eyes are on the Houston Texans. As of Tuesday, the Texans hold three picks in the top-37 of the draft, including picks No. 3 and 13 in the first round.
There are multiple directions that the Texans can head in with their draft capital, however, one position that head coach Lovie Smith hopes to address is cornerback. Smith told SportsRadio 610 on Monday that the team "can’t play the type of football that we want to play until we get better at the cornerback position."
The good news is that multiple NFL-ready cornerbacks in this year's draft class can come in and help Houston right away. Here's a look at three CBs that the Texans must target in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Texans NFL Draft 2022
1. Derek Stingley Jr., LSU
Even though Derek Stingley Jr. was limited to just three games last season due to a foot injury, he's still one of the best cornerback prospects in the draft. The 20-year-old CB racked up 73 tackles (7.0 for a loss), six interceptions and 20 broken-up passes in 25 games over three seasons with the LSU Tigers. Beyond that, he held opposing quarterbacks to a 41.1% completion rate when targeted throughout his collegiate career. Many experts are calling him one of the better athletes in the draft and with the potential he boasts, it wouldn't be a shock to see the Texans draft him at No. 13.
2. Ahmad Gardner, Cincinnati
The Cincinnati Bearcats had a top-10 scoring defense this season and Ahmad Gardner played a big role in them achieving that goal. The 2021 AAC Defensive Player of the Year finished last season with new career-highs in tackles (40) and sacks (3.0) while recording three interceptions and four defended passes. Beyond that, he only allowed 131 yards when targeted last season and didn't give up a single TD throughout his collegiate career. Having said that, FanDuel Sportsbook is favoring Gardner to be the first CB selected this month, meaning the Texans may need to move up from No. 13 if they want to land him.
3. Trent McDuffie, Washington
Although a lot of attention has been on Stingley and Gardner, Trent McDuffie is another CB prospect worth keeping an eye on. McDuffie racked up 35 tackles, six passes defended (eighth most in Pac-12) and a sack in 11 games at Washington last year. He also held opposing QBs to a 44.4% completion rate when targeted and even led the Pac-12 with an 88.7 coverage grade on ProFootballFocus. A former sprinter, McDuffie clocked in a 4.44-second 40-yard dash at the Draft Combine, cementing himself as someone who can keep up with even the faster NFL wideouts. With Stingley and Gardner likely the first cornerbacks off the board, the Texans certainly won't complain if McDuffie falls into their laps.
Devon Platana is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Devon Platana also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username PepeSilvia0. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.