With the 8th pick in the 2023 DML draft the Houston Texans select......
With the 2024 DML season winding down, and the playoffs on the horizon; the Houston Texans find themselves with a 15-1 record owning the #1 seed in the AFC. First year head coach Matt Hedrick has taken the bull by the horns, and seems to have re-energized this talented Texans team. This organization is no stranger to successful seasons, but this one seems a bit different. When trying to figure out what or who was responsible for this new found swagger, I found myself having to go back to almost 2 years ago.
In a last minute draft move; GM Addy struck a deal with the Ralph, and Vikings organization. The Texans traded susperstar corner Lonnie Johnson, and a future 1st round pick in order to aqurire the #8 pick overall. The deal was a tough one for the Texans to make. "Lonnie was our guy, just the year prior we had given him a long term extension. At the time of the deal we believed that Lonnie and Justin would be the anchors on the backend. We were hopeful that one day they would propel us to a champioship." GM Addy said. So what changed? What made a team who was all in on a player trade its budding star, while simultaneously having to eat a 16Ms worth of a cap penalty. GM Addy countinued to explain.
"After getting dismantled by the Browns in the AFC championship, we realized there was a huge hole that needed to be filled. In the offseason the year prior, we decided to let JJ walk in FA. We didn't realize how big of a blow it was until it was too late. Our defense that year was in shambles. If there was one thing that loss thought us, it was that elite pass rushers like Myles Garrett and Braxton Chester are invaluable in the pursuit of a championship. At that point we were left with two choices, find one in FA or strike gold in the draft. Our scouts here are great, they do an amazing job keeping track of all the talent across the landscape of college football. The whole year they were raving about a kid out of San Diego State. The kept saying the kid reminded them of Aaron Donald when he was a Pitt. I'll be honest with you, I didn't really believe what they were saying but they remained adament about it. We decided to travel to see the kid in person, it was a Friday night game against Georgia Tech. With in the 1st two possesions I could see exactly why they liked the kid so much, he was a one man wrecking crew. Ironically enough there was another player that caught our eye while there. CJ Goodman, a free safety from Georgia Tech. You could tell he needed some polish but the kid had great range and a swagger to him. Those were the type of guys we were looking to add as conrnerstones of the defense. The only issue become being in position to draft both players. As the year continued and his stock rose it became evident that Wheaton would be an early 1st round pick. We brainstromed all year really and voila."
When asked whether the Texans were confident Wheaton would be there at 8 Addy responded, "HECK NO! We did our homework and believed we knew what the teams ahead of us were going to take, but I'd be lying if I told you we weren't extremely nervous. It was a no brainer when he was still left on the board. We then played the waiting game for CJ. We were confident in his ability and believed we could move some piece in the secondary to account for the loss of Lonnie. Both players have been everything we imagined, plus more. I really believe that the success you're seeing this year has a huge deal to do with the grand slam we hit in that draft. We look for both players to continue to make impact plays and potentially anchor us to the ultimate prize."