Rick Smith and Gary Kubiak have never moved up in the first round in five drafts. Could they do it this year? Usually, to charge into the top five, you would need to part with at least a second round pick and more.
They have to ask themselves if it’s worth losing quantity (in the form of second and/or third round choices) for the quality of a potentially great player like Von Miller.
Notice the word “potential.” Welcome back to the mystery of the NFL draft.
Looking at previous Smith/Kubiak drafts, they stood pat in the first round the last two years. They dropped back in ’08 to take Duane Brown after dealing with Baltimore. In ’07 they dropped two spots to #10 because of the Matt Schaub deal and picked Amobi Okoye.
Prior to the Kubiak era, the Texans moved up only once, and that was with their second pick in 2004. After selecting Dunta Robinson with #10, they traded their 2nd, 3rd and 4th round choices (and flipped fives) toTennessee to move up into the first round for Jason Babin. That’s the only time they ever moved up as a franchise in the first round.
Last year, Rick Smith had Toby Gerhart in the crosshairs in the second round at 51 overall. He walked a tightrope in moving back to 62 in a deal with the Vikings then vaulted ahead to 58 in a trade with New England to snag Ben Tate. It was risky business as the team desperately needed a running back.
Then Tate gets hurt and Arian Foster leads the NFL in rushing. You never know what will happen.
On that note, don’t forget about late round picks or undrafted free agents being a factor. Think David Anderson and Zac Diles. Heck even C.C. Brown made plays for this team, once upon a time. What about Troy Nolan, who we all want to see more of?
But the bread and butter remains in the first four rounds and they have to evaluate how much they’re willing to give up there in order to move up. There’s also the possibility of (gasp) trading down. What if #11 arrives and Julio Jones is on the board? Rick Smith’s phone will be ringing and there will be a decision to make.
Be listening on Sports Radio 610 to find out what goes down.