NFL Draft: Houston gets aggressive, trades for No. 3 overall pick and takes Will Anderson Jr.
Making the No. 2 overall pick wasn't enough for the Houston Texans. They wanted the third pick too.
The Texans, who took Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud with the second overall pick, minutes later traded with the Arizona Cardinals for the third pick. They took Alabama pass rusher Will Anderson Jr.
The Cardinals had been trying to trade out of the third overall spot and found an unlikely partner. The Texans gave up the 12th pick, the 33rd pick (the second pick in the second round) and a first and third rounder in 2024 according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. They got the third pick and 105th overall from the Cardinals.
What the Texans pulled off is rare. They're just the third team in the common draft era to make two picks in the top three, joining the 1992 Indianapolis Colts and 2000 Washington, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
Anderson has been on the NFL radar since he had a tremendous freshman season for Alabama. He followed that up by winning the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, given to the top defensive player in college football, two seasons in a row. There was some question in the days leading up to the draft if Anderson or Tyree Wilson would be the first defensive player off the board, but the Texans were obviously smitten with Anderson's production. They paid a lot to go up and get him.
New Texans coach DeMeco Ryans got a foundational star for his defense. He also got a quarterback. For Houston fans who have suffered a few lean seasons, they have a lot to be excited for.