Thirty-three Texas high school football players selected in NFL Draft

Houston Texans select three defenders, two offensive players over four rounds

By Cole McNanna | Special to the Katy Times
Posted 5/10/20

For the first time since 2016, the first overall pick of the NFL Draft did not play his high school football in the state of Texas as Ohio’s Joe Burrow stayed in Cincinnati and will quarterback …

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Thirty-three Texas high school football players selected in NFL Draft

Houston Texans select three defenders, two offensive players over four rounds

Posted

For the first time since 2016, the first overall pick of the NFL Draft did not play his high school football in the state of Texas as Ohio’s Joe Burrow stayed in Cincinnati and will quarterback the Bengals.

It was altogether a different version of the draft, being done completely virtually with all of the players, coaches and the commissioner staying in their own homes and communicating via video conference and checking in with the broadcast channels.

However, the state of Texas ended the draft with the highest number of drafted players overall, with all 33 playing for a public high school in the University Interscholastic League.

Although Katy’s lone representative in the draft, Taylor and Sothern Methodist alum Rodney Clemons, didn’t have his name called in the seven rounds, he signed with the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted free agent on Saturday following the draft’s conclusion.

Clemons finished his collegiate career as a team captain and recorded 78 total tackles, led the team with four interceptions and added nine pass breakups.

Despite returning from the brink of quitting football altogether after his freshman season, he returned to the team as a senior and turned in an all-state campaign at defensive back and punter, totaling 111 tackles, six pass breakups and five interceptions.

The Houston Texans picked once in the second and third rounds, twice in the fourth and once again in the fifth, taking three defensive players and two offensive players.

The first two picks were on the defensive side of the ball, the first of which filled a defensive tackle vacancy with the 40th overall pick.

Ross Blalock grew up a stone’s throw away from Houston’s NRG Stadium in Missouri City, playing his high school football for Fort Bend Elkins where he eventually made his name known for the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs.

After Blalock was linebacker Jonathan Greenard from the University of Florida with the 90th overall pick. He started his career at Louisville and was named team captain for the 2018 season but suffered a season-ending wrist injury the first series of the season. He transferred to Florida and was on the first-team all-Southeastern Conference, registering nine and a half sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss.

The first of the Texans’ two fourth-round selections was University of North Carolina offensive tackle Charlie Heck, the son of the former Notre Dame All-American and 1989 first-round draft pick at offensive tackle, Andy Heck, who currently serves as the offensive line coach for the Kansas City Chiefs.

The next newest member of the organization was cornerback John Reid out of Penn State with the 141st overall pick and will add to the secondary depth after Tashaun Gipson was cut this offseason although he signed a three-year, $22.5 million deal in 2019 and will leave a $4.25 million dead cap hit.

Houston’s final draft selection was University of Rhode Island wide receiver Isaiah Coulter with the No. 171 pick in the fifth round. He joins a crowded wide receiver group even after DeAndre Hopkins was swapped for Arizona running David Johnson to begin the offseason.

Still, Coulter shined in his final season at Rhode Island, totaling 1,039 yards receiving and eight touchdowns. He added a nine-catch, 152-yard performance against Virginia Tech in week six of the season after recording a 10-catch game against New Hampshire in week three and registering a season-high 12 catches in a week-five win over Brown.

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