Three Texas products were selected in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft, all of which came from the city of Houston. Here's how we think those three players will fit in with their new NFL homes.
NFL Draft coverage from Dave Campbell's Texas Football is presented by Panini.
WR Jaylen Waddle, Alabama: Miami Dolphins
High School: Bellaire Episcopal
Waddle looked like perhaps the best wide receiver in America before suffering a season-ending injury midway through the year. Now, Waddle teams up with former teammate Tua Tagovailoa as part of the new movement in Miami.
This is a perfect situation for Waddle to quickly contribute. Players taken this high don't usually end up in instant impact situations, but Waddle will get to cause havoc as both a receiver and returner for a team that was on the cusp of a playoff appearance.
OT Rashawn Slater, Northwestern: Los Angeles Chargers
High School: Fort Bend Clements
Slater was rated one of the two top linemen in the NFL Draft after sitting out the 2020 season due to Covid. Now, Slater is heading to the Chargers to team up with rising star QB Justin Herbert.
The Oregon product became just the fourth QB to throw for 4,000 yards as a rookie and set a record with 28 TDs. Slater and Herbert will own Los Angeles for years to come. It was a no-brainer pick at this spot.
DE Payton Turner, Houston: New Orleans Saints
High School: Houston Westside
Turner became the first draft pick to play college football in Texas to be drafted in the 2021 NFL Draft. The Houston Westfield product played just five games, but exploded with 10.5 tackles for loss and five sacks to rank among the state leaders anyway.
Now, Turner will team up with former UTSA star Marcus Davenport and Texas product Malcolm Roach on the defensive line of the historic New Orleans Saints. Turner proved he can both get after the quarterback and also fit his role well during his career in Houston, and that will serve him well at the next level.
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