The Texans drafted massive and versatile Texas A&M offensive lineman Kenyon Green with the 15th overall pick of the first round.
The former Atascosita standout and Houston Touchdown Club Offensive Player of the Year is a former consensus All-American and All-SEC selection who has played offensive tackle and offensive guard.
"Oh, man, this is a blessing," Green said. "Staying in Houston, you know, I'm a hometown kid, so we're going from there and I'm ready to work. I know where my roots are at now. So it's time to work, put my head down and grind."
During his visit to the Texans, Green got a message from coach Lovie Smith.
"I really want Texas guys here," Smith said. "We build this thing from the ground up."
Green (6-foot-4, 323 pounds) is a former blue-chip recruit who started two games at right tackle, one at left tackle, two at right guard, and seven at left guard last season for the Aggies.
"It helped me a lot, playing different positions, knowing where I can come in and do my best at," Green said. "So, I come in and just be a team player, you know, be the best I can be and help the team in whatever form and fashion that is."
A former All-SEC Freshman selection at right guard, Green moved to left guard in 2020 and started every game. He was named a second-team All-American and second-team all-SEC selection. Green was a finalist for the Lombardi Award last season.
"He’s been a really productive, consistent player," Texans general manager Nick Caserio said. "He played tackle. He played guard. I would say he is probably a better guard than he is a tackle. I think he is probably more of an inside player, but we'll put him in the mix. Local kid, so I'm sure all of the Texans, fellow Texans, will be happy about that.
"He’s a real solid kid. I would say blue collar, humble, soft-spoken, lunch pail. Shows up; doesn't say much. Just kind of works his ass off and wants to play football. That fits the profile of what we want from the players that walk in this building."
Green's father, Henry, played offensive guard at Grambling State University. His mother, Shalonda, is a former UCLA volleyball player.
The Texans traded back from No. 13 overall with the Philadelphia Eagles to draft Green 15th overall and acquired a fourth-round pick and two fifth-round selections. Caserio added that the Texans could have traded back to the Pittsburgh Steelers' 20th overall pick, but opted to "not get too cute" and potentially lose an opportunity to draft highly rated prospects.
"Honestly, we had an opportunity at 15 to actually move back even a little bit further to 20, and we just felt if we did that, we were probably going to lose a decent amount of players," Caserio said. "So, in the end we just felt like it made the most sense just to pick at 15, so it was pretty balanced.
Caserio didn't indicate whether the Texans will or won't exercise offensive tackle-guard Tytus Howard's fifth-year club option or whether he'll line up at right tackle, his natural position, or left guard again. Howard stepped in at left tackle last season, too, when Pro Bowl left tackle Laremy Tunsil underwent thumb surgery and was placed on injured reserve.
"Ultimately, we'll do what we think is best," Caserio said. "It's about getting the five best players on the field on the offensive line. We're fortunate that I think we have some good players at that position, and we feel good about the players we have at that position. Ultimately, we'll make a decision that we think makes the most sense for the organization.”
Caserio said the Texans also had discussions about trading back into the first round. They hold the 37th overall pick for their second-round selection.
“We had some dialogue, absolutely we did," Caserio said. "Kind of repositioning ourselves going from 37 to wherever, how much would that take? What would we have to give up in return? I think where we kind of ended up was, all right, to go from 37 to kind of the low to mid 20s, you would have to give up X, and then you would have a gap there in the middle. We wouldn't have 37.
"We would have 68 and 80. Okay, to go from 68 to 50 would cost X. Then you're going to lose however many players. We definitely had some discussions about it, so in the end we just thought the discretion was to just sit and wait and kind of recalibrate here in the morning."
Aaron Wilson is a Pro Football Network reporter and analyst and a contributor to Sports Talk 790.