From a standpoint of efficiency, the number one pick should be used on the player with the combination of highest potential value and lowest bust rate. How those factors are weighed is another matter, but still, the prospect should possess both of those attributes. Value takes into account skill, athleticism, and position. Bust rate consists of character and position. Obviously there are many more factors that constitute both Value and Bust Rate. However, one similarity between the two is position.
It is widely considered that some positions have more value than others in terms of impact on the game. QB, Left tackle, and Pass rusher are normally considered premium positions , while RB, WR, K, etc... are considered not as impactful. As position regards to bust rate, some positions are widely considered more difficult to learn in the NFL and as a result, carry more inherent risk. QB is a prime example of this.
I'm not a qualified NFL talent evaluator, but to me the best prospect in this draft is OT Greg Robinson. He plays a premium position, check. He is an elite OT prospect , check. OT is one of the safest premium positions to predict, check.Robinson destroyed the combine, and was widely considered a top 2 OT prospect before it. He is hands down the safest pick in the draft and comes with great value.
All of the other prospects that are being thrown around for number one are way too risky. QB's bust frequently and there are legitimate questions about Clowney. Not only are there rumors of character concerns, but i just dont see the level of freak that was Mario Williams or Peppers. Yes he ran a 4.53, but he also weighed in at 266 and did worse than expected on the bench. Williams and Peppers ran in the 4.7 range while weighing in the 290's and they put up great bench numbers. AND for them the production in their last season did not dissapear.
For reasons previously stated, QB is a risky move at number 1. Teddy Bridgewater is the best of the bunch and he still has some questions. Also i dont think Mack is the level of player you can take at number 1 overall.
The Texans are a critical point right now where this draft will either set us up for the future or risk us losing some of the window of our core of Watt, Brown, and Cush.
I am in no way advocating for us to take Robinson, i just want the Texans to realize that he likely is the best prospect in the draft. I personally think that unless we decide to take a chance on Teddy, we should trade back. Even if that means falling out of the top 5 and taking picks in future drafts. We have alot of holes on this team and i don't realistically see us contenting for a title this season. Getting a " franchise QB " this draft is enticing but given the uncertainty of our OL situation I wonder if it would be a mistake to throw his to the wolves this year. The current rage is to play Rookie QB's but generally those teams have had decent O lines. The worst thing we could do is draft a QB who busts for whatever reason.
Trading back allows us to more safely use the value from the number 1 pick and at the same time spreads that value to multiple positions. This is great for us because we have alot of holes. Trade this years first for a 1st and 2nd this year, and for a 1st and 3/4th next draft. Of course the 1st rounder this year probably has to remain in the top 8-10 range. By making that trade we are still able to draft an elite talent as well as draft a project QB this year. Next year with 2 1st's we should be able to move up to grab an elite QB prospect if we so desire. The way the Texans play this draft to create value will tell us alot about the intelligence of our front office. I for one hope we don't go with the sorry ass strategy of " we like to stay at our pick and draft the best player."