Will the Texans Draft Players who are Ready or Players to Develop?
By Billy Vidler
When Nick Caserio and the Texans draft team meet tomorrow, two things must be determined.
That question pertains to how many NFL-ready players can they draft and how many high-ceiling players who need to develop once selected. The experts are making their predictions based on what they perceive as the team’s individual needs.
What they may miss is what the Texans plans are. Are the Texans looking at players who can help win now, or are they looking at players who can develop into better players for a much longer time?
The third pick in the draft is usually a player who is effective from day one, even despite some of the biggest busts in the past few drafts having been selected there. Of course, all young players have a lot to learn about the NFL, but a first-rounder is expected to be a day one starter. But what about for a team that is rebuilding?
Many experts have the Texans taking players like Evan Neal or Kayvon Thibodeaux with their first selection. Those are safe picks of players who should be ready to play. But what if Caserio goes higher ceiling over “ready to play”?
High Ceiling Players can Bring longer-term success for the Houston Texans.
A few mock drafts have had the Texans taking players like Travon Walker and Jermaine Johnson instead. These are not the polished favorites of most draft experts, but they get rave reviews for being high ceiling players when their talent is discussed.
Travon Walker isn’t listed in CBS Prospect Rankings as an edge rusher but as the best defensive lineman, and his projections are incredibly high. Jermaine Johnson is ranked as the third-best pass rusher in the draft, but few have him near the top of the draft.
Could Caserio go off the expert’s board and get a guy who may not produce at the level of a player they think will produce immediately but could be better in 2023 and beyond?
Some terms that we will hear during the draft is athleticism and attitude. But, outside of talent, what else does a player bring to the team? This is where a player like Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner could come into play.
One of the many things the Texans have lacked for many years is a talented player with attitude. The term “Swag” is never used in discussions about the Texans. Gardner not only brings talent; he also brings a high ceiling and that attitude. He brings that “Swag,” and he’s the best of both worlds in many ways.
Tomorrow night, Caserio will make the call. Will it be a player ready to go now or a player with a chance to develop naturally and traditionally?
Will Caserio choose a player with an attitude to add talent but change how the team is viewed? We’ll know the answer in a little less than ten hours.