NFL Draft Grades for Texas Ties in the First Round

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We knew it'd be a stacked first round when it came to Texas-connections and by the end of the night, nearly all of the players projected to be picked, that had a tie to the Lone Star State, were selected. Here are our (my) personal grades for how each player fits with their new destination. Spoiler alert: They're all good.


Tyree Wilson – Las Vegas Raiders

College: Texas Tech
High School: West Rusk

The Texas Tech star edge rusher went a tad lower than some were projecting, but ended up in a spot where he could potentially flourish. He’ll actually play opposite of another Texas high school football product in Maxx Crosby (Colleyville Heritage). Crosby had 12.5 sacks in 2021 and now you add Wilson? Watch out.

Instead of being the focus of offensive gameplans, Wilson steps in as the secondary pass rusher who will theoretically be moved around to match up with the weak links on opposing offensive lines. As someone who’s still learning how to dominate with his frame, Wilson couldn’t have gone to a better place to acclimate to the league.

Grade: A


Bijan Robinson – Atlanta Falcons

College: Texas

Although I’m not a huge fan of the Falcons in particular selecting a running back, they were already the third-best rushing attack in terms of yards, this is another hand-in-glove fit schematically. Head coach Arthur Smith coordinated the Titans’ rushing attack with Derrick Henry and is a massive fan of play-action pass. Bijan Robinson will be an early favorite to be the number one overall pick in fantasy drafts playing under Smith.

It seems like Atlanta is going with Desmond Ridder as its starting quarterback for the year so Robinson enters a backfield with a fellow young skill position player as well as a reliable stable in the backfield with Tyler Allgeier (1,053 yards) and Cordarrelle Patterson (695). A lot of scouts lauded his potential as a receiving option, as Robinson’s only scraped the bottom of his ability. But I don’t know how much Smith will utilize that to its fullest as he typically hasn’t used pass catchers out of the backfield in the past.

Grade: B+


Christian Gonzalez – New England Patriots

College: Oregon
High School: The Colony

How in the world did the league let Bill Belichick land the top cornerback in the draft? Gonzalez has the ideal modern frame for a defensive back at 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds with a 4.38 40 at the combine. According to PFF, he allowed under 60 percent completion when thrown at over the course of his career and nabbed four picks this past season.

He joins a secondary already stacked with playmakers including former Houston star Marcus Jones. New England is one of the best places a defensive back can go to develop, and they just landed someone who many considered a Top 10 talent.

This may be the best value pick of the night if we’re being honest.

Grade: A


Jaxon Smith-Njigba – Seattle Seahawks

College: Ohio State
High School: Rockwall

Gonzalez was one of the best value picks, but this may be my personal favorite pick in the draft. JSN burst on to the scene in the Rose Bowl a year ago going for over 300 yards receiving. He battled injury this season but was still arguably the best route-runner in the draft even after missing a lot of his junior year.

And now he lands at a destination where he’ll play opposite from the most physically dominant wideout in the NFL in DK Metcalf and one of the most consistent veterans in Tyler Lockett. He’ll have a darkhorse MVP candidate throwing him the ball too in a revitalized Geno Smith. This offense is going to be wide open and very fun to watch.

Grade: A+


Quentin Johnston – Los Angeles Chargers

College: TCU
High School: Temple

To a slightly lesser extent, Quentin Johnston also landed at a comfortable spot. A question QJ faced most of his college career until this past season was his ability to really show his gifts on a consistent basis. He’ll have the opportunity to learn from two of the most gifted big receivers in the league in Mike Williams and Keenan Allen. Add in Josh Palmer and you have arguably the deepest unit in the league with Johnston, if they can just stay healthy. Of course, there’s also the fact that Justin Herbert is throwing them the ball too.

The Chargers are running out of excuses as to why they’ve underperformed and with Johnston added to the offense, it just creates more pressure to live up to their potential.

Grade: B+  


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