HOUSTON – "Welcome to Houston, Tytus."
The Texans introduced 2019 first-round draft pick Tytus Howard on Friday. Howard was drafted with the 23rd pick in the NFL draft Thursday night.
Howard and the Texans got acquainted during a visit before the draft.
"It felt like home when I came on my visit (to Houston). It felt good to be back here. I'm going to be here for a long time," Howard said.
The team hopes he can help protect quarterback Deshaun Watson. Head coach Bill O'Brien said when he and general manager Brian Gaine think about Howard, they think, "smart, tough, dependable."
O'Brien said the team's intentions are to start Howard at tackle, but also said the team would also teach him how to play guard in the Texans' scheme.
"This is an exciting day for us here in Houston," O'Brien said. "Tytus was a three-year starter at Alabama State. Was a three-year captain. Tytus was very impressive to us from the day we met him."
It's the second time Houston drafted an offensive lineman in the first round. Left tackle Duane Brown was taken with the 26th pick in 2008.
Howard played at Alabama State and was a quarterback in high school before growing into his 6-foot-5, 322-pound frame.
He has the versatility the Texans were looking for, as he started at both tackles in college. He was named to the SWAC All-Conference team last season after starting 10 games at right tackle.
The Texans management spent time with Howard at the Senior Bowl and NFL combine. O'Brien said Howard is a "leader" and his college and high school coaches all spoke very highly of him.
"We were really impressed," O'Brien said.
Howard arrived at the introductory news conference with his mother, grandmother and fiancee.
Howard said his family is a big part of the reason he is who he is today.
"It always started with respect growing up. My grandmother, my mother always instilled in me to be respectful," Howard said. "Just watching them be the people they are, helped me, motivated me to be better."
Watch the full news conference in the video below: