Houston Texans: Offseason splashes and preparing for the NFL Draft
By Logan Graham
This offseason has been quite the rollercoaster for the Houston Texans. From new head coach and general manager hires, the departure of Houston legend J.J. Watt, to all of the drama involving franchise QB Deshaun Watson asking for a trade and fighting against multiple lawsuits, Texans fans aren’t so sure what to expect next with the 2021 NFL Draft right around the corner.
General manager Nick Caserio has been a busy man this offseason, making over 70 roster transactions by adding veterans and re-signing key players he sees will be good fits for the new-look Houston Texans. Head coach David Culley is in a unique position with the team, this being his first crack at a head coaching gig in the NFL, despite being a positions coach and other assistant roles with multiple organizations since 1994.
By far the biggest question mark for the Texans this offseason: what will happen with Deshaun Watson? According to reports, Watson is facing 23 lawsuits claiming he was behaving inappropriately toward different masseuses while receiving massages and other recovery treatment in 2019 and 2020. There is an ongoing investigation of Watson, but as of right now, nobody knows if he will be available to play for the Texans in 2021.
So, what do the Houston Texans do if Watson is forced to sit the season out leaving the team without a QB? Nick Caserio already considered this, and signed journeyman Tyrod Taylor to a one-year, $12.5M deal.
Taylor isn’t a tremendous player with high upside, but he can take care of the football and manage the game if the Texans defense plays well. Considering the horrendous defense the Texans played in 2020, many are hoping this will be the side of the ball that sees the most improvement in 2021, especially given all of the talent Caserio went out and acquired on defense this offseason such as Shaq Lawson, Maliek Collins, Desmond King, Christian Kirksey, and others.
Houston Texans Draft: Kellen Mond is a player to like in Round 3
The Houston Texans do not have a first-or-second round pick in this year’s draft, but they do hold the 67th overall pick in Round 3. Although it’s hard to argue against picking a defensive player with this pick, it would be nice to see the Texans select Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond here if he’s available.
Mond is a dual threat quarterback and is getting somewhat overlooked because of the volume of high profile quarterbacks that are mocked to go in the very beginning of the first round, such as Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Justin Fields, Trey Lance, and Mac Jones.
Mond would be an excellent fit for the Texans considering the spot they’re in with Deshaun Watson, and it would be hard to ignore the value of the pick given his potential upside. He very well could be the Dak Prescott of this year’s draft class.
It’s never the most exciting NFL Draft when your team doesn’t have a first or second round pick, but Caserio has made this offseason a little bit more interesting with the abundance of free agent signings he’s made.
Of course there were also players the Houston Texans couldn’t retain such as Watt and Will Fuller, but that isn’t entirely on Caserio since he wasn’t hired until this offseason.
Both Watt and Fuller were hot commodities on the trade block in ’20 and the Texans gained a lot of interest for both players, but a deal was never made. Hopefully transactions like this (or lack thereof) will be the end of an era for the Texans front office and Caserio can get this organization on the right track sooner rather than later.