Yesterday, Rotoworld's Patrick Daugherty published an article ranking the general managers in the NFL from first to thirty-second. Where does Houston's Rick Smith fit among his peers? Square in the middle, naturally.
16. Rick Smith - Texans
Smith has done it all as a general manager. There have been bad picks (Amobi Okoye) and brilliant ones (J.J. Watt). Arian Foster is one of the best undrafted free agent signings of the past 10 years, Matt Schaub one of the best trade acquisitions. But a largely competent reign has still produced a sub-.500 record (61-67), and only two playoff wins in eight years. That’s not a résumé you can coast on forever. That’s why Smith has to get the No. 1 overall pick in May’s draft right. The correct choice could buoy a talented roster back to the upper reaches of the NFL, and buy Smith another 3-4 years of job security. The wrong choice would likely be the straw that broke the camel’s back on a perfectly fine, but ultimately unmemorable era of GMing in Houston.
Many fans were surprised (and more than a bit angry) that Rick Smith wasn't shown the door with Gary Kubiak after 2013's disastrous 2-14 campaign. In the wake of other front office dismissals, I went so far as to compare Smith to Rasputin. While Smith escaped Bob McNair's wrath, it's fair to say that there's likely more riding on 2014 for him than anyone else at Reliant Park.
Check in with your thoughts on Rick Smith and/or Rotoworld's GM rankings. If nothing else, you can make jokes about Smith being the prettiest girl in Oklahoma in conjunction with Smith currently being considered to be the best GM in the AFC South in those rankings.