The Texans passed on Kyle Wilson and made Kareem Jackson of Alabama the second cornerback selected in the first round, taking him 20th overall.
Jackson is an instinctive cover guy, willing to tackle.
He should be able to step in as a starter on the outside, where the Texans are looking to replace Dunta Robinson and have a stable of unproven or inconsistent corners including Glover Quin, Fred Bennett, Jacques Reeves, Antwaun Molden and Brice McCain.
With Mario Williams (first overall) and a linebacking corps featuring two first-rounders in DeMeco Ryans and Brian Cushing, Jackson becomes the only defensive back drafted by Houston in the first-round on the current roster.
The Texans were high on running back Ryan Mathews, but he disappeared when San Diego traded with Miami up to 12th to get him.
Houston turned to its other biggest need.
Still to come: that running back and a penetrating defensive tackle. There could also be an interior offensive lineman, a free safety and another corner.