The Houston Texans may pass on positions of need if the right player falls to them

The Houston Texans are playing a dangerous game with the NFL Draft.
Feb 27, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Houston Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans speaks at a press
Feb 27, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Houston Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans speaks at a press / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The point of the NFL Draft is to give each team in the NFL a chance to fortify their unit and improve themselves in a fair and respectful manner. The goal, at least the goal we're all hoping for, is that the team looks at what they need and drafts accordingly. Sometimes that's the case, but there's a new age push to draft guys based on talent over need.

It may work for some, but it hasn't worked for others. It's essentially a methodology that suggests if you need a center, but you have a cornerback rated slightly higher, even if it's not a position of need, you take the corner.

Now, it doesn't wholly throw away drafting for need, but it emphasizes less player chasing. For instance, if you need a center, and you're drafting at the 27th position in the first round, and you have a cornerback graded as a mid-first-round pick, and the best center on the board is graded in the 40s of the second round, you take the corner, and wait until you get a better chance at a center.

Even if you really like the center who's graded as a second-round pick. There was a time when you'd "reach" for that player. Even if it didn't make sense. Think Mike Ditka's desire to trade everything he could for Ricky Williams. It's a methodology that doesn't always work.

Yet, the issue with drafting by player value over need is that the draft is not a sure thing. You could take that corner who fell you too late in the first round, but if you miss out on taking that center you really liked, and the center outperforms the corner, does it really matter where you drafted someone? An All-Pro center is always more impressive than a corner who's out of the league after his first contract.

You're not trying to "win the draft", so it shouldn't matter what outside observers who rank prospects think. You should focus on building up the positions of need above all else.

Which is why I'm not a proponent of draft value over positional need. If you have the chance to take a highly rated corner who fell to you, or the center you think can make your team better; you take the center.

Apparently, DeMeco Ryans may not agree. He told the media this week that the Texans will still look to bolster spots on the roster despite that position having had additions to it already.

Now, it may work for the Texans. They may find the next great corner, receiver, running back; what have you. It may also blow up in their face if they don't look to improve the defensive line, the offensive line, the linebacking corp, and the safety positions before addressing anywhere else.

The Texans already have guys who can work at other positions, there's no reason to take a receiver, a corner, or a defensive end before a new guard, tackle, defensive tackle, outside linebacker, or either safety. If the Texans opt not to focus on a position of need first, it's going to be hard to justify the picks as being good, at least to start.