The Texans were in control of their own draft destiny in Week 18 of the 2022 NFL season. All they had to do was lose to the division rival Indianapolis Colts and they would be selecting first overall in the 2023 NFL Draft. If they won but the Chicago Bears also won, they would still hold the 1st overall pick. Worst case scenario, the Texans win and the Bears lose; which would mean that the Texans would be picking 2nd and the Bears would jump them and hold the 1st pick.
As luck would have it, the worst case scenario would happen. The Texans would beat the Colts in pretty wild fashion (which would be Lovie Smiths' last game as Texans HC) and the Bears would lose by double digits to the Vikings. So now the Texans hold the 2nd overall pick, and although it is still obviously a very high selection, it now allows the Bears to potentially trade the pick away to a team looking to draft a QB. One of the worst kept secrets in the NFL is that the Texans are looking to move on from Davis Mills and draft a QB early in the draft this year.
The issue is that if a team knows that the Texans favorite QB coming out this year is Bryce Young, hypothetically, that team could jump the Texans and trade up to #1 and take Young and then the Texans are stuck selecting their 2nd favorite QB.
So this begs the question, should Houston give up draft capital to move up one spot to select the QB of their choice? In my opinion, no they shouldn't. And here's why...
I'm no draft expert, but I don't see a clear cut QB1 in this draft class. Each 4 of the Top QB's that will be 1st rounders have pros and cons to their game. Alabama QB Bryce Young is the most polished QB, but sits at 5'10 and under 200 lbs and has real durability concerns Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud is the most accurate passer and has a strong arm, but he is more of a traditional pocket passer and isn't much of a threat with his legs. Kentucky QB Will Levis has the body of a NFL QB (6'3 230 lbs) but has questionable decision making and mechanics. And finally, Florida QB Anthony Richardson is by far the most talented and explosive QB running the ball, but he's only a 60% passer and has inconsistencies throwing the ball.
If the Texans like one of these guys a lot more then others, then it's worth it to trade up just to insure that you get that guy and don't get jumped by one of the other QB needy teams. If they have 2 or more of the QBs on the same tier, then it makes more sense to sit tight and take whichever QB doesn't go #1 or even hope that the Bears keep the pick and take on of the top defenders.
In order to trade up from #2 to #1, they would have to give up a decent pick or two to make sure it happens. They could probably make it happen by trading Pick #2 and #33 or they could trade a combination of picks #65, #103, and a player or a future pick next season. But for a rebuilding team like the Texans, you want to keep all of the picks possible and even try to get more so you can get as much talent as you can on a roster that needs it.
So is it worth it to give up those picks to trade up to #1? In my opinion, no it isn't. But we'll find out what Nick Caserio thinks on draft night when he could make a deal with the Bears for the #1 pick. We shall see if a trade happens on draft night, or it might even happen sooner than that.
Happy draft season, Texans fans. Buckle up!