Book a Flight to Quality?
Recent news (or rather rumors at this point) of substance abuse
among several first round prospects in the NFL Draft ought to have
several draftniks pushing up their glasses and re-ordering their
mock draft selections. Specifically, local first round faves such
as USC linebackers Clay Matthews and Brian Cushing have been tainted
of steroid use while Boston College defensive tackle has been
reported to have used
marijuana identified via testing at the Combine in February.
seems like there is now more evidence than ever before that the
Texans should consider any and every opportunity to trade down from
the 15th overall pick. But in a draft where the first round talent
is projected to be subpar, how much trade compensation is needed
to move even farther away from acquiring any of it?
the 2005 NFL
Draft, particularly the first round selections. This is the
year the Texans owned the 13th overall selection, similarly positioned
to where they find themselves in 2009. Also note that the overall
quality of the first rounders that year failed to reach their drafted
is of course helpful, but even then, many draft followers believed
that 2005 was a weak class at the top, and that has proven true.
Sitting in the middle, the Texans arguably lost very little in terms
of first round pick quality sliding down three picks while gaining
meaningful compensation, a third round pick in the following year’s
draft that resulted in tackle Eric Winston.
was there a better move to be made by the Texans in 2005? The team,
still employing the 3-4 defensive scheme, was rumored to have interest
in adding some pass rush. Two players that appeared to be desirable
to the team, Demarcus Ware and Shawne Merriman, we considered quality
prospects with only a small chance of lasting all the way to the
went 11th to the Cowboys, and Merriman followed him with the next
pick to the Chargers. Perhaps disappointed that their edge rusher
was no longer on the board, the Texans dealt the 13th pick to the
the Texans traded down.
fast forward again to the 2009 draft. The Texans have their full
allotment of picks this year, plus they added an extra fourth round
selection from the Vikings after sending quarterback Sage Rosenfels
to the Purple. Both the owner Bob
McNair and the head coach Gary
Kubiak have stated the need to acquire a player in this draft
that will provide an immediate impact this season.
down could be a viable option this year. The Texans find themselves
in a desirable position for another team to move up to their spot,
particularly if a player in a high-demand position such as quarterback
or left tackle is surprisingly available. The Eagles, with multiple
first round picks at 21st and 28th overall seem like ideal trading
as the overall field of first round quality appears to be shrinking
from small to smaller, the usual slam-dunk hypothesis to move down
and acquire both the desired player and an extra pick or two to
boot is suddenly not such a clear decision to make. Let’s
hope the Texans remember the 2005 draft and weigh their options
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