The Houston Texans draft record has been underwhelming since head coach Bill O’Brien was hired in 2014.
The Houston Texans have seen a lot of change in head coach Bill O’Brien’s time since being hired in 2014. Through his first five seasons, there has been a lot of good and a lot of bad, the Texans are 42-38 since he took over head coaching duties. O’Brien has taken the Texans to the playoffs in three of his five seasons but hasn’t been able to take them outside of the AFC Divisional Round game with a 1-3 record in the playoffs.
There are a lot of factors that can be attributed to the Texans inability to have success in the postseason. Injuries, erratic quarterback play, or strained relationships within the organization could have all been legitimate factors in the past. However, one issue is evident above all else, the Texans have a poor draft record since O’Brien was hired, and it could have played a role in the Texans moving to hire Brian Gaine.
More from Toro Times
- Houston Texans Draft: Michael Mayer should be a no doubter at pick 12
- Houston Texans already telling fans the Davis Mills era is over
- Houston Texans have hand forced, waste no time in firing Lovie Smith
- Houston Texans: Pros and Cons of keeping Head Coach Lovie Smith
- There is just one way the Texans can lose the No. 1 pick
Texans previous general manager Rick Smith and O’Brien worked together to find players that fit the team’s coaching scheme, but the Texans have more strikes than hits to show for in the draft. Aside from Smith’s very serious and delicate family issues that made him step away from his job, the Texans had very little success drafting since O’Brien was hired.
Taking into account the Texans draft history from 2014 to 2018, Texans have 18 draftees remaining from their total 38 players drafted. However, if Gaine’s 2018 draft class is taken out of the equation, and focus on solely Smith’s draft classes with O’Brien; the Texans have hit on only 10 players from the 30 players they drafted. That is a 30 percent effective rate, and there are only two players remaining from the Texans’ first two draft classes with O’Brien.
Texans 2014 first overall pick, Jadeveon Clowney and 2015 second rounder, Benardrick McKinney are the only players remaining from their respective draft classes. Which is extremely low when 17 players were drafted in those two draft classes combined. Eight of those players drafted are currently without a team but it’s important to put into context that two of those eight retired while they were in their second contracts in the NFL (C.J. Fiedorowicz and Andre Hal).
Looking at Texans 2016 draft class, only three players remain from the original six players they drafted. Texans drafted Will Fuller in the first round, Nick Martin in the second, Braxton Miller in the third, Tyler Ervin in the fourth, K.J. Dillon and D.J. Reader in the fifth round. Fuller, Martin, and Reader are the players remaining from their draft class.
Smith’s most successful draft class was arguably his 2017 draft class that consisted of Deshaun Watson, Zach Cunningham, D’Onta Foreman, Julien Davenport, Carlos Watkins, Treston Decoud, and Kyle Fuller. Watson, Cunningham, Foreman, Davenport, and Watkins remain of the original seven players drafted.
In summary, 16 players have been drafted were drafted on offense, and 14 players were drafted on defense while Smith worked with O’Brien. Five players remain on offense (Fuller, Martin, Watson, Foreman, and Davenport) and five on defense (Clowney, McKinney, Reader, Cunningham, Watkins).
The biggest issue to this point has been drafting and developing the players under O’Brien. For a team that prides itself in winning in the draft instead of signing big names in free agency, the Texans have failed to produce their formula at an acceptable rate.
The blame can fall in both parties in Smith as the previous general manager selecting the talent and O’Brien as the current coach for the Texans failing to get the most out of the players that were drafted with his seal of approval.