The Houston Texans were the biggest winners of the trade between the Chicago Bears and the Carolina Panthers for the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.
When Lovie Smith opted to go for two after quarterback Davis Mills found tight end Jordan Akins for a 28-yard touchdown on 4th and 20 with 50 seconds remaining in the Houston Texans' Week 18 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts, Texans fans were left shaking their heads.
With the team sitting at 2-13-1, most Texans fans were hoping that the team would lose to secure the No. 1 overall selection for the first time since 2014 and the fourth time in franchise history. In fact, some felt that the Colts, then 4-11-1 and in the running for a top five pick themselves, were trying to hand them the game to prevent that scenario from unfolding.
Lo and behold, Mills found Akins again, and the Texans won the game by a score of 32-31.
The Texans finished 3-13-1, just ahead of the 3-14 Bears, to secure the No. 2 overall pick.
Many have speculated that Smith knew he was going to be fired anyway, so his decision to win the game effectively left the McNair family with somewhat of a petty "parting gift".
The quarterback-needy Texans were now slated to pick second behind the Bears, with the also quarterback-needy Colts sitting close behind at No. 4.
Houston Texans' NFL Draft concern
But with the Bears now controlling the No. 1 pick, and the Texans, in part, having the Colts to thank for that, there was somewhat of a concern among Texans fans not only that they would not get the quarterback they want but that he would go to their AFC South rivals.
The Bears appear set at quarterback with 2021 first round pick Justin Fields, and all indications were that they were going to trade the pick to whichever quarterback-needy team was willing to give up the most. The Colts were certainly in the running to be that team.
But last week, the Bears traded the No. 1 pick to the Carolina Panthers, who had been slated to pick ninth, and got a king's ransom in return. However, it was the Texans who were the big winners of this trade.
Depending on who the Panthers take, the Texans still might not get their overall top prospect. But they didn't sell out to trade up for a spot they could have easily secured in Week 18, and above all, now they can be sure that they won't lose their top guy to the Colts.
The Colts themselves could end up in an even bigger hole here, since the Arizona Cardinals, who are slated to pick third, could also end up looking to move their pick to a quarterback-needy team, depending on how much they can get in return.