What is a "Top 30" visit and why should Houston Texans fans be paying attention to them

The Houston Texans are bringing in guys for a Top 30 visit but what is that?
San Francisco 49ers v Houston Texans
San Francisco 49ers v Houston Texans / Logan Riely/GettyImages

The Houston Texans are preparing for the NFL Draft which is just days away at this point. Come April 25, 2024 (a Thursday), the NFL Draft will begin and amateur football players from around the world will start to be assigned to their first pro teams. The hope is that these new arrivals will help make bad teams better and good teams great, while the top of the top is hoping to find enough guys to keep the good times rolling.

To figure out who the best guys for one's team are, the NFL has allowed teams a variety of ways to figure out who the best fit is. Teams scout player's college footage, and they interview coaches, teammates, and family members. They hold the NFL Combine to measure strength, speed, and agility. They attend amateur players' Pro Days, a controlled environment meant to showcase key players and their talents.

Then, of course, there are the Top 30 visits. One of the last processes made by a team ahead of the NFL Draft. The Top 30 visits are not exactly what you think they are. Now, on the surface, yes, they are the set of visits that collegiate players make to pro teams to have one final meeting, but the name is misleading.

The Top 30 visits aren't exactly for a team's list of Top 30 prospects. That's the conventional wisdom and the one that many assume is the reason. It's actually for the Top 30 prospects they still have questions about. See, with the NFL Draft, most teams have six or seven picks per draft (some more, some less). That doesn't mean they just have six or seven guys scouted.

They likely have a dozen, if not more guys scouted for each position and each possible draft spot. They don't have all the time in the world to interview all the guys they want prior to the draft, at least through the NFL-approved outlets.

So the Top 30 Visits are the NFL's way to allow coaches and general managers the chance to further flesh out a prospect and their fit within a team. Prospects usually meet with team doctors and coaches but are strictly prohibited from performing any time of workout, either on the field or in the weight room.

They are allowed, however, to run through game film with players they bring in.

It's the last gasp for these teams to find out what they need to know and usually serves the team well. If your team is bringing in a player on a Top 30 visit it may mean that potential rookie is on their big board and could end up getting drafted. It also may just be a fact-finding mission about a fellow teammate.

It's a process that isn't always what you think.