Houston Texans: Bill O’Brien foreshadowing more moves before draft
By Jair Lopez
The Houston Texans could feasibly punt on the 2020 NFL Draft with the limited timeline to assimilate the incoming rookie class.
The Houston Texans could be working the phones to trade some of their 2020 draft picks for proven NFL talent if things go their way. The Texans are entering the draft with seven selections but without a first or sixth-rounder to work with this year. However, Houston still has enough valuable selections to add talent through the draft or use them to get veterans that can contribute right away.
Head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien explained the main decision to pull the trigger with the Los Angeles Rams for Brandin Cooks from the backyard of his home was due to the familiarity the coaching staff and Jack Easterby had with the veteran receiver. O’Brien also hinted at the value veterans could bring to the table this season over incoming rookies from this draft.
“One thing on this, I do want to make this point. In my opinion – again, it’s just my opinion – but I think that this year with the unique position that we’re in, I truly believe that this is a veteran type of year. I think it’s going to be really difficult for rookies without offseason practicing on the field and being able to do all the things that you do during that five-week stretch after the draft and then training camp. Who knows when all that will start – I’m not trying to predict that, but I think this year being different than any other year is that’s part of our building of the team also.”
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Texans had needs on offense entering the offseason, but they acquired David Johnson and Cooks instead of resorting to the draft. As obvious as it may sound, O’Brien is thinking like a coach at the general manager position, and he’s making moves that can help the team win now rather than building organically through the draft like his peers.
O’Brien’s time at general manager could be counted if he is unable to yield the results expected from ownership. His unorthodox approach is resulting in him getting the players he likes through trade instead of developing potential prospects.
Draft picks don’t hold the same value to teams that are active in trades like the Texans. Maybe in other drafts, it would be important to have a bounty of draft picks to move up and down the draft board, but O’Brien could very well opt to get players that are on the block around the league.
O’Brien has shown he is not afraid to make a blockbuster trade, and he has acquired quite a few big names in Laremy Tunsil, Johnson, and Cooks since Brian Gaine was fired.
Despite how absurd it may seem to swing for another trade before the draft; It shouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility if a player is out there to be had. O’Brien could very well be in the position to trade a draft pick to get the player he believes he needs.
Time will tell if his aggressiveness will backfire, but his eagerness to acquire talent in exchange for draft picks has made this an engaging offseason, to say the least.