Texans upgrade offensive line in latest ESPN 2025 mock draft (2024)

It’s never too early for mock draft season, even if the players recently selected have yet to play their first game in the pros.

While the 2024 NFL season is set to get underway, some fans have already waved the white flag to prepare for what hopes to be a brighter 2025 and beyond. Free agency will play a substantial role in that department, but landing cornerstone pieces in the draft is a must for rebuilding franchises.

The Houston Texans aren’t under construction but instead under watch as reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year C.J. Stroud transitions from Year 1 to Year 2. Everything is there for Stroud to meet expectations after a potent free agency, but the AFC is riddled with talent, meaning an uptick in record isn’t a sure-fire thing.

That’s how ESPN feels with its latest mock draft, pegging the Texans with the No. 23 overall pick. A significant reason for a similar record in 2023? The offensive line, which is why Matt Miller has Houston landing Arizona guard Jonah Savaiinaea in the upcoming draft.

Arizona's RT Jonah Savaiinaea pops on film. He reminds me of OT Taliese Fuaga.

He is listed as 6'5 335 pounds. He has a similar build/frame, and physical temperament, with more pop out of his stance in pass pro. Another potential good OT class is loading up for 2025! pic.twitter.com/0mTdHrj6Jx

— Full-Time Dame 💰 (@DP_NFL) June 4, 2024

The Texans’ roster is very good, but the interior of both lines could still use work. Why not bring in one of the best right tackles in college football and kick him inside — a move scouts believe will push Savaiinaea into the first-round conversation — to help protect C.J. Stroud? The 6-foot-5 330-pounder locked down the right side for Arizona last season opposite first-rounderJordan Morgan and stood out with his power in the run game. He would improve a Houston offensive line that finished 25th in the league in run block win rate (69.5%) last season. – ESPN Matt Miller

Savaiinaea enters the season as the projected starting left tackle for the Wildcats as the program jumps from the Pac-12 to the Big 12. He’s been a sturdy option in the run game and only allowed one sack en route to a 10-win season in Tuscon.

Miller believes Savaiinaea will shift inside to enter Day 1 buzz with a stellar season, but a strong season in the Big 12 might allow him to stick on the edge. Houston might not be interested in adding a right tackle after using its second-round pick on Notre Dame offensive lineman Blake Fisher to bolster its depth.

Arizona RT Jonah Savaiinaea (no. 71) – absolute tank

Seek and destroy mission here ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/mYyH3MGE5n

— Connor Rogers (@ConnorJRogers) July 2, 2024

Fisher, who started 26 games on the offensive line for the Irish, might internally be viewed as Tytus Howard’s long-term replacement. The former first-round pick has been hindered by injuries throughout his career and suffered another season-ending injury last fall.

Should Fisher actually work reps on the left side, this could lead to him eventually being the replacement for Pro Bowler Laremy Tunsil. The Texans don’t have to worry about that problem for the immediate time since Tunsil can’t opt out of his deal until 2025, but Houston could be looking to save money with Stroud’s eventual mega-extension in the works.

Interior offensive line play has been a glaring weak spot over the past two seasons. The hope is Houston will see a revamped version of former first-round pick Kenyon Green at left guard after missing the entire 2023 season with a shoulder injury.

Jonah Savaiinaea (#71) gets beat with a speed rush/rip. Savaiinaea has average length, has trouble playing outside of his frame and has trouble with speed rushers. It's why I project him to be a guard in the NFL. pic.twitter.com/0akED80jnU

— Brian Maafi (@BmaafiNFL) July 2, 2024

Perhaps Savaiinaea could be considered a long-term replacement for Shaq Mason, who enters his age 31 season. He still has three years left on the books, but his dead cap is more affordable to cut following the 2024 season.

Of course, countless things will change from here until Week 17 on both sides. Savaiinaea might be out of Houston’s reach if the AFC South champions achieve its ultimate goal.

Texans upgrade offensive line in latest ESPN 2025 mock draft (2024)


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