Three best cornerbacks the Houston Texans should target in the second round of the 2024 NFL Draft

The Houston Texans have one of the best cornerbacks in the league, Derek Stingley, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t add to that. They made moves this offseason, signing both Jeff Okudah and C.J. Henderson. However, with this draft being super deep at the cornerback position, they should capitalize on needing that true No. 2 CB that they need.

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Okudah and Henderson will be great pieces on the defense. I mean, look at what the Texans’ defense was able to do with the pieces they had next to Stingley last season, and this upcoming season is definitely better on paper.

Even though the Texans don’t have a first-round pick, they can still get an elite cornerback in the second round and a guy who has elite potential. In particular, there are three guys that the Texans should target, who all have what the Texans need and who can be very good players. Here are the three cornerbacks the Texans should target at pick No. 42:

Three cornerbacks Texans should target at pick No. 42

Kamari Lassiter, Georgia

Kamari Lassiter shining as top dog in Georgia football secondary | Georgia  Sports | redandblack.com

The Texans need a guy who fits the culture. They play fast, aggressively, mean, and fly to the ball. It just so happens that Lassiter does all of those things. One of the best things about Lassiter is that he played in the SEC. That means he played against the best possible talent every single week. He played in Georgia and knows how to win, as he has two National Championship rings.

Lassiter has the skill set to be a day-one starter, too. Now, it won’t just be handed to him, but he can battle Henderson and Okudah for that spot. His size and length will be extremely helpful and will make him fun to watch in one-on-ones when training camp rolls around. Here are Lassiter’s strengths and weaknesses:

STRENGTHS

  • An unwavering presence patrolling the flats
  • Disruptive at the catch-point. Plays through the hands & attacks the ball
  • Impactful jam at the LOS. Forces WRs to fight through contact
  • Quality route anticipation & response time from single coverage
  • Crowds outside releases to the sideline
  • Good play strength to absorb contact at the top of the route
  • Balanced open-field tackler
  • Flashes quick closing burst from off-coverage
  • Stays in a phase when playing trail-technique
  • Physicality keeps WRs out of their comfort zone

WEAKNESSES

  • Overly physical & grabby in man coverage
  • Struggles to identify match coverage responsibilities. Leaves deep crossers unattended in cover 3
  • Commits to the first break & gets beat vs. double moves/blaze-outs
  • Delayed & segmented transitions out of press
  • Stops his feet at the LOS & reaches
  • Poor recovery speed, has to tug at the jersey if he gets stacked
  • Plays with inconsistent depth vs. high-low concepts
  • Gets confused by switch releases/rub routes in short-yardage situations
  • Undisciplined hips when WRs attack his blind spot
  • Will cheat inside & lose contain vs. outside runs

Cooper DeJean, Iowa

Cooper DeJean 'keeps on rising' as sophomore in Iowa football secondary |  The Gazette

DeJean is a victim of being one of the players whose stock falls before the draft for no real reason. Before the college football season was over, a lot of analysts had him going in the first round, and a few that have him going in the top 10 or 15 picks. However, nothing changed on his side of things; that’s how the draft works.

Now, by our standard and big board, DeJean is the 40th overall prospect and the fifth overall cornerback. His closest comparison in the NFL is Jamel Dean of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He has a very high ceiling, and his floor is high. He is a guy the Texans should definitely consider. Here are some of the strengths and weaknesses he would bring to Houston:

STRENGTHS

  • Good size & straight-line explosiveness
  • Quick plant drive to close space quickly
  • Flashed potential as a press corner later in the season. Rarely played press before the Wisconsin game
  • Tight squeeze on in-breaking routes from cover 3/4
  • Good route recognition & balance in trail technique
  • Capable of fluid hip turns/transitions. Has some jaw-dropping speed turns on tape
  • Play strength to absorb contact & stay in phase with physical WRs
  • Dismantles & sheds blocks like a linebacker
  • Dynamic punt returner

WEAKNESSES

  • Needs to improve hand accuracy in press
  • Slight stall turning to accelerate
  • Struggles to sink his hips and mirror stop routes
  • Plays with good eye discipline, but sometimes late to react to comebacks
  • Doesn’t seem comfortable turning & locating the ball
  • Unable to make tackles outside of his frame
  • Will occasionally lose the edge in run defense
  • 2023 season ended with a lower-leg injury

Renardo Green, Florida State

Renardo Green: FSU football cornerback enters 2024 NFL Draft

Green may be the most slept-on cornerback of the guys who could go in the first or second round. He was a vital player on an amazing FSU defense. He is one of the players who can do everything at a pretty good level, but he can get inconsistent a bit and is too physical.

Green would be a great fit for the Texans with his skill set. He has been compared to D.J. Hayden. On A to Z Sports’ Big Board, Green is the 45th overall prospect and the seventh overall cornerback. He is the best fit if the Texans can’t nab Lassiter. Here are some of his strengths and weaknesses:

STRENGTHS

  • Had 16 forced incompletions in 2023
  • Played most of his snaps on an island in press man
  • Patient & fluid footwork to mirror complex releases
  • Plays with good eye discipline & stays connected to double moves
  • Savvy & hyper-competitive at the catch point
  • Had the best performance vs. Malik Nabers of any CB this year. 2 rec on 5 tgts
  • Has the sideline awareness to push receivers out of bounds before they can land their feet
  • Was the best CB at the Shrine Bowl
  • Smooth hip-flip from press to match outside releases
  • Adequate physicality as a run defender

WEAKNESSES

  • Average size & frame for an outside CB
  • Has a tendency to faceguard. Sometimes late turning & locating the ball
  • All 3 of his TDs allowed were goalline fades
  • Size limits his recovery range & control at the catch point
  • Indecisive sorting through zone coverage responsibilities
  • Needs to play with lower hands downfield to minimize holding calls
  • Too willing to give an easy inside release
  • Rigid deceleration with stop routes when he’s out of phase
  • Average closing burst from off-coverage

The Texans have three big needs coming into this draft, which leads them to make a very important decision.

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