HOUSTON (CBS-Houston) – Truth be told, we’re all waging conjecture about what the Houston Texans will do with the first pick of the NFL Draft as time winds down to May 8th, 2014. The big question is whether or not they are certain about what they’re going to do.
The Texans and General Manager Rick Smith held their pre-draft press conference on Thursday and appear to be sure of their plan.
“I know the order of our board,” said Rick Smith. “I know that if we select first, it’s a unique opportunity to obviously be the first pick. If we do select there, I know who we feel good about there.”
Most think the Texans and Smith feel good about Jadeveon Clowney, Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel, and Khalil Mack. Obviously, Smith isn’t going to tip his hand.
Regardless, the pondering doesn’t stop. Meanwhile, NFL Analyst Mike Mayock has his ideas about what the Texans will do with the first overall pick.
MAYOCK SAYS PULL THE TRIGGER; IF!
During a conference call on Thursday, NFL Analyst, Mike Mayock, talked about possible options for the Texans. While Rick Smith appears to be certain of his board, Mayock says due diligence is first and foremost before settling in and making the final decision.
“The comment I’ve made from the combine forward and I still believe is that, first and foremost, they have to evaluate all the quarterbacks and make sure if they fall in love with a quarterback, and you’ve got to believe in him, then you’ve got to take him at one. That trumps everything else.”
The fly in the ointment centers on whether or not the Texans are in love enough with any of the quarterbacks to select with the first pick. Complicating matters more is there are at least two defensive players at the top of this draft that stand to be game-changers in Jadeveon Clowney and Khalil Mack. It has been proven over and over again that defense wins championships and the Texans know that. See Seattle Seahawks versus Denver Broncos in 2014 Super Bowl.
But then, there’s also the 2006 NFL Draft where Houston had the number one overall pick. They took Mario Williams. He’s now playing for the Buffalo Bills. The story line from that draft is according to former General Manager Charley Casserly, the Texans attempted to trade down but could not find a trade partner. Fast forward to Thursday, May 1, 2014. The Atlanta Falcons stated publicly that they are not interested in trading for Jadeveon Clowney and the number 1 pick. Hence, the Texans are one trade partner down; at least, it appears that way. Could be a smoke screen.
BEST OPTION; TRADE DOWN
Regardless, there could be other trade partners willing to do business. The Texans could choose what’s behind door number 2 if they are not sold on any of the top quarterback prospects, intimates Mayock.
“If you don’t fall in love with a quarterback, and I think it will be difficult for them to say yeah that’s the guy, then secondly, I’d like to see them consider trading down,” said Mayock. “I think they’re doing a good job showing people they’re interested in Clowney, Manziel, perhaps Mack, and forcing people to come to them as far as a trade up or trade down. So, I think they ought to try to trade down.
To me, that would be the best thing for the Houston franchise. If they were able to trade down to, (overall picks/teams), 4, 5, or 6, still get an impact player and extra picks.”
But, Mayock knows that the draft is imperfect, very fluid, and teams must explore all options.
“If you can’t do that, I think they’re going to take Clowney. One of two things can happen if you take Clowney. He either becomes part of your defense and you move forward, or you’ve controlled value at the top of the draft and you still might be able to trade him after that during the draft. So, that’s the scenario and I think the best case for Houston would be to trade down.”
General Manager Rick Smith appears to be aware and says he’s keeping his options open.
“We are obviously open to moving out of the first pick if, in fact, there’s an opportunity for us to do so and we think that’s in the best interest of the organization.”
The Texans have been very close to the vest regarding that first pick. However, all secrets will fall by the wayside on the night of May 8th.
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