Is Bill O'Brien really the worst GM of all time in Houston Texans history?

Who really is the worst GM in Houston Texans history?

Wild Card Round - Buffalo Bills v Houston Texans
Wild Card Round - Buffalo Bills v Houston Texans / Tim Warner/GettyImages
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Who is the worst general manager in Houston Texans history? Well, if you ask Five Points Vids, it's Bill O'Brien. The sports commentator recently released a video talking about the worst GM in every NFL team's history. No surprise, when it came time to get to the Texans, he tagged O'Brien as the worst the club has ever had.

And he may be right. Let's take a look at the worst of the worst when it comes to moves that O'Brien made.

Of course, there was the DeAndre Hopkins trade, which only got the Texans back a second-round pick and running back David Johnson. Granted, if the difference between a "good" and "bad" trade is about 30 spots in the draft, sure, it may not be as bad as people proclaim. After all, what has Hopkins done since? Still, if the measure is not getting *two* first-round draft picks, then yes, this was a bad trade if you were expecting more than one first-round pick.

Another major issue is trading Jadeveon Clowney for just a third-round pick; another move one could argue is actually fair value for Clowney, who hasn't made a Pro Bowl or an All-Pro team since leaving Houston. In fact, he's been so average, he's been on four teams in five seasons. So while Texans fans may have wanted more, they got a fair return on him.

An interesting one is the third-rounder given up for Duke Johnson, who at the time was a 900-yard guy from scrimmage. That move isn't bad even in hindsight, as he was a dynamic player in his prime, but the issue with that move goes hand in hand with the arrival of Carlos Hyde at the same time and O'Briens inability to manage both players.

Then there's the Brandon Cooks trade, a lot of people thought O'Brien overpaid for Cooks, giving up a second-rounder for a guy who broke 1,000 yards four times in his career. Cooks would further go on to break that mark another two teams until he left the team after the 2022 season. Granted the Coks trade looks worse if compared to the Amari Cooper trade the Cleveland Browns pulled off in 2022. Yet, that's less an issue with the Texasn and more an issue with the Dallas Cowboys, who let him leave for just a late-round pick.

It's easy to hate on O'Brien, as he definitely wasn't a great GM, and we're not even ruling out that he's the worst, but complaining that O'Brien gave up a second for Cooks when he was arguably worth that, if not at the very least a third, seems petty. Still, the biggest failings with O'Brien as GM could be seen in his everyday failings; a poor offensive line, never developing his draft picks, selecting some of those draft picks in the first place...

There's a lot to hit O'Brien about, but we feel the biggest misses are overblown simply because of who made the moves.

Still, we'd be remiss if we didn't point out that other guys not named O'Brien selected David Carr over Julius Peppers, rejected the idea of signing Peyton Manning in 2012, trading Duane Brown, not re-signing Glover Quin or Brandon Brooks, and of course the A.J. Bouye of it all.

By no means is this a defense of O'Brien, and we're not saying that he's a good GM. We're sadly saying that he has a lot of competition that shouldn't be ignored due to recency bias.

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