Tua Tagovailoa and Jaylen Waddle began their connection at Alabama and continue to stun defenses in Miami. Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase brought their Bayou Brotherhood to Cincinnati after winning a National Championship at LSU.
The college to NFL quarterback-wide receiver combo trend has taken the league by storm. Even the Las Vegas Raiders attempted to rekindle the magic between two Fresno State teammates when they brought in Davante Adams to play with Derek Carr. The latter also proves that occasionally this doesn't work out the way a front office had hoped. But for one NFL team, the 2023 NFL Draft offers an interesting option.
The Houston Texans could snag a quarterback and a wide receiver with their first two picks, launching their rebuild into warp speed. We're of course talking about C.J. Stroud and Jaxon Smith-Njigba from Ohio State.
The Buckeye Connection that Could Help Houston
Before you start booing me, just listen to this. The Texans are in a bit of a bind with the second-overall pick. With the Panthers seeming to signal that they'll select Alabama QB and former Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young, Houston can go a multitude of directions.
If they want to shore up their defense, they could opt for Georgia products Jalen Carter or Nolan Smith, or even snipe Young's former 'Bama teammate Will Anderson Jr. Or, they could surprise us all and select Anthony Richardson and really shake things up. However, the safest bet appears to be Stroud. After that selection, the Texans will watch as the next 10 picks unfold in front of them. Will Levis will likely fall to the Colts at No. 3, a few O-Linemen come off the board and then the No. 12 pick is on the clock.
Think about this. C.J. Stroud under center, Dameon Pierce in the backfield, a healthy John Metchie and Jaxon Smith-Njigba ready to take off downfield. That could be the Texans reality in 2023.
Now, there's a lot that can get in the way of that offensive arsenal materializing. Smith-Njigba is coming off a season mired by injury, and although his NFL Combine performance proved he was back to his old self, the doubt may remain that he's not set to go. If that's the case, could the Texans sit on Smith-Njigba until the second-round and take him with their No. 33 pick? If they do, the Texans could snag Tyree Wilson from Texas Tech or Myles Murphy from Clemson to help with their defensive woes.
But with a shiny and new franchise quarterback, the Texans would be better off getting their new franchise face some aerial weapons. If Houston goes for Stroud with the second-overall pick, Smith-Njigba makes that pick feel like it's the first-overall.
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