Being a fan of an NFL team during the draft can be an agonizing thing. You sit down and wait for hours to hear the selection from the team you follow.
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Last season Texans fans didn’t have to wait long of course, since they held the number one overall selection. This year is different as the Texans are not up until the middle of the first round, with the 16th overall selection.
Nothing is worse than sitting around all that time and watching prospect by prospect that you hoped to be cheering on disappear. Nothing that is until the clock is winding down to zero and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announces a trade, rather than the selection.
As frustrating as it is for a fan to see their team drop down and add picks, it is at times a wise and fruitful strategy. When a team has a certain need to address but is uncomfortable taking that position too early, they can often drop down to the later parts of the round and pick up an additional pick in the process.
In 2013 the Dallas Cowboys were on the clock with the 18th overall selection and were in need of some help on their offensive line. While most experts had the teams taking a safety the Boys decided instead to swap picks with the San Francisco 49ers and moved down to the 31st overall selection.
They then drafted center Travis Frederick out of Wisconsin, and with the extra third round pick gained they snatched up Baylor wide receiver Terrance Williams. The move was originally met with a lot of criticism, but in the end has provided Dallas with two productive starters for the price of their 18th pick.
The Houston Texans find themselves in a similar role that their in-state rivals were in just two drafts ago, in the middle of the draft with several needs. The team could use another receiver, a tight end, a pass rusher and an interior lineman.
Most mock drafts have the top receivers, Amari Cooper, Kevin Whit and DeVante Parker, off the board before Houston picks. The top tight end this year is Maxx Williams from Minnesota, but his draft grade does not seem to be in the top 20, and his apparent attitude at the combine did him no favors.
"“That Minnesota tight end came across as all about himself from what people in our room said (at the combine). They were a little turned off by him.” — NFC regional scout"
As for pass rusher there are several talented players such as Bud Dupree, Shane Ray and Vic Beasley. Again these guys most likely could all be gone and the one pass rusher who seems to have slipped to where Houston could get him is Nebraska outside linebacker Randy Gregory.
Gregory also comes with a red flag as he failed his drug test at the combine, which is really hard to do since every player knows it is coming up. Perhaps this is an isolated incident, or maybe he could be a perennial problem like suspended (again) receiver Josh Gordon has been for the Cleveland Browns.
Then there is the interior of the line, where the team recently moved on from veteran center Chris Myers. The Texans could potentially make a move like the Dallas Cowboys did two drafts ago when they got Frederick.
If the Texans are able to drop back into the mid-to-late twenties Florida State center Cameron Erving is a real possibility. He is the best center in the draft and could start right away and allow the team to keep Ben Jones as the starting left guard.
They could also select Maxx Williams in this same spot if they did move back. Either way it is worth considering a drop down if there is still a strong possibility to get a player who you believe can start right away, while also acquiring more picks to help bring some quality youth to a team on the upswing.