The 21 former Houston area high school stars who could get picked in 2022 NFL Draft (2023)

The first round of the NFL Draft has been filled with former Houston high school stars recently with seven local guys being picked on the first day in the past two years. It will be a little different this year with former Atascocita High School Star Kenyon Green holding the key to making it four straight years a local player goes in the first round.

The Texas A&M offensive guard is projected by some to go late in the first round Thursday, while others have him slipping until early in the second round Friday.

Either way, after Green is picked, there will be plenty of Houston talent selected throughout the three-day draft.

Here’s a look at the 21 former Houston area high school stars with a chance get picked in this year’s NFL Draft …

Kenyon Green, OG, Texas A&M, Atascocita High School

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Projection: First round

Most projections have the 6-foot-4, 323-pound guard going late in the first round or early in the second. Green started every game in his three seasons at Texas A&M, mostly at guard, although he was at left tackle when the Aggies upset Alabama last season.

Jalen Pitre, S, Baylor, Stafford High School

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Projection: Second round

The 5-foot-11, 198-pound safety was the Big 12’s defensive player of the year. He’s praised as a positive influence in the locker room and for his intense work ethic, which has several experts projecting him as landing with the Texans with one of their five picks in the top 80.

Zyon McCollum, CB, Sam Houston State, Galveston Ball High School

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Projection: Third round

McCollum blew people away at the NFL Combine when he ran a 4.33 40, which combined with his 6-foot-2 frame, makes him a desirable option late on Day 2 of the draft.

Isaiah Spiller, RB, Texas A&M, Klein Collins High School

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Projection: Third round

The 6-foot, 217-pound back led the Aggies in rushing in each of his three seasons in College Station. Spiller is thought to be in the next group of running back prospects after Iowa State’s Breece Hall and Michigan State’s Kenneth Walker.

Terrel Bernard, LB, Baylor, La Porte High School

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Projection: Fourth round

Bernard was one of Baylor’s best players, making first-team All-Big 12 last season and being named Sugar Bowl MVP. He also was a team captain and often was praised by coaches for his leadership qualities. Still, he’s a little small at 6-feet, 207 pounds.

Kalon Barnes, CB, Baylor, Silsbee High School

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Projection: Fourth round

Barnes is an incredible athlete, winning high school state championships in the 100 meters as well as on the basketball court. The 4.23 he ran in the 40 is the second-fastest time since 2003 and the fastest for a defensive back.

Chris Paul, OG, Tulsa, Jersey Village High School

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Projection: Fifth round

The 6-foot-4, 323-pound Paul played mostly right tackle his final two seasons at Tulsa, but he started his career as a guard, which is where he projects to play in the NFL. Teams like his size and his ability to fill in anywhere along the line, except center, in a pinch.

Otito Ogbonnia, DT, UCLA, Katy Taylor High School

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Projection: Fifth round

Ogbonnia was a four-year starter at UCLA and his 6-foot-4, 324-pound frame is ideal for an NFL interior defensive lineman. He’s still a bit raw, but should be selected on the final day of the draft.

Bailey Zappe, QB, Western Kentucky, Victoria East High School

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Projection: Fifth round

The former HBU star put up huge numbers when he transferred to pass-happy Western Kentucky, throwing for an FBS record 5,967 yards and 62 touchdowns as he was named Conference USA MVP last season. He doesn’t have an explosive arm, which gets him compared to the likes of Case Keenum.

Delarrin Turner-Yell, S, Oklahoma, Hempstead High School

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Projection: Fifth round

A bit undersized at 5-foot-10, 192 pounds, Turner-Yell was one of the Sooners’ best defensive players, leading the team with three interceptions last season and making second-team All-Big 12. Coaches rave about his instincts and intangibles, which will get him picked on the final day of the draft.

Jaylen Wydermyer, TE, Texas A&M, Dickinson High School

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Projection: Sixth round

The 6-foot-4 Wydermyer was incredibly productive in college, needing just three years to become Texas A&M’s all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns as a tight end. However, his stock started to fall when he ran a 5.03 40 at Texas A&M’s Pro Day in March.

Leon O’Neal, S, Texas A&M, Cypress Springs High School

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Projection: Sixth round

O’Neal was a leader on the Aggies defense and his confidence and swagger carried over to his teammates. He missed too many tackles, but he showed he can hold up under pressure against SEC competition.

Jayden Peevy, DT, Texas A&M, Bellaire High School

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Projection: Sixth round

The 6-foot-5, 308-pound Peevy grew up in Houston playing basketball, but his transition to football has gone smoothly, leading him to be a three-year starter for the Aggies. He’s shown rapid improvement, which has NFL teams hopeful for his future.

Mike Woods, WR, Oklahoma, Magnolia High School

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Projection: Seventh round

After three seasons at Arkansas, the 6-foot-1 Woods transferred to Oklahoma where he was named honorable mention All-Big 12.

Tyler Vrabel, OT, Boston College, St. Pius X High School

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Projection: Priority free agent

Vrabel, the son of former Texans defensive coordinator and current Titans head coach Mike Vrabel, started at both right tackle and left tackle in college where he was honorable mention All-ACC in each of his three seasons.

Austin Deculus, OG, LSU, Cy-Fair High School

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Projection: Priority free agent

The 6-foot-5, 321-pound Deculus was LSU’s starting right tackle on the 2019 national championship team and started there in 2020 and 2021. He has good size and lots of experience, but likely will go undrafted.

D’Eriq King, QB/WR, Miami, Manvel High School

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Projection: Priority free agent

Although a dynamic player in college at Houston and Miami, King – at 5-foot-9 – likely is just too small to play quarterback in the NFL. He says he’s open to playing receiver, which could make him a versatile player to take a chance on in the late rounds or as a priority free agent.

Ryder Anderson, DE, Indiana, Katy High School

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Projected: Priority free agent

Anderson graduated from Ole Miss, but finished up his eligibility at Indiana as a grad transfer. He was named honorable mention All-Big Ten with the Hoosiers and did enough to get a look likely after the draft is over.

Tayland Humphrey, DT, Louisiana, Klein Oak High School

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Projected: Priority free agent

Humphrey started his collegiate career at Hutchinson Community College before being named third-team All-Sun Belt last season at Louisiana. He never had a real breakout season in college but did enough to get some consideration late in the draft.

Hayden Howerton, C, SMU, Katy High School

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Projected: Priority free agent

Due to the COVID season, Howerton started 53 games in five years at SMU. He can play guard and center.

Kolby Harvell-Peel, S, Oklahoma State, A&M Consolidated High School

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Projection: Priority free agent

The 5-foot-11, 213-pounder had a great career in Stillwater, twice making first-team All-Big 12 and picking off 10 passes in his final three seasons. His speed doesn’t blow anyone away, but he’ll get a shot in the NFL.

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