During an interview with Fox 26 Sports Houston, Bob McNair provided quite a bit of insight on what the Texans' interest is in the draft, while Texans' General Manager Rick Smith offered his thoughts during another recent press conference.
"It's a very exciting time," McNair said in an interview with FOX 26 Sports. "I'm really looking forward to it. I was just at the NFL meeting. I'm chairman of the finance committee, and just as I was opening the meeting three or four of them (owners) said 'okay Bob, Who are you going to pick?'
"We all laughed and I said 'I wish I knew.' "
"You take a guy like Clowney," McNair said. "He’s obviously the best player in the draft, but he’s a defensive end. He’s not a quarterback. If he’s a quarterback and the best player it’s easy, but that’s not the case. So can that defensive player have a greater impact on the success of your team than one of these quarterbacks? It’s not a sure thing that he is. . . . If somebody wants you to drop down and they give you two or three more picks that would let you get two or three more quality players, are you a stronger team dropping down a little bit, getting these additional picks and getting more depth?"
"You got three quarterbacks and all of them have some holes in their resume," McNair said. "A quarterback that goes out and performs for you and is a franchise quarterback is more valuable than a player playing another position, but there’s a lot more risk there. It’s a more difficult position to play and there are lot more failures.
"You drop down and there’s another group close behind, not exactly where they are, and maybe one of those quarterbacks will become better than one of these other three," McNair said. "There are no slam dunks. There are no Andrew Lucks out there, no Peyton Mannings. If there were it would be an easy decision, but that’s not the case."
"I think that we’re going to greatly strengthen our team as a result of the draft," McNair said. "We’ve got 11 picks now in the draft and it’s a deep draft. So we’re going to get some good players regardless as to what we do. If we trade down and pick up two or three more players, we’d have 13 or 14 [draft picks]. So you’re going to see some significant strengthening of our team as a result of this draft."
So in summary, McNair doesn't feel that any quarterback is worth the first overall pick and they are more interested in trading down. While they may be tempted to take Clowney since he is the best overall player in this draft, and they have certainly provide plenty of smoke to suggest they might; it is obvious they would prefer to collect valuable picks by moving down and adding additional players to the team. Either way, they are confident that the team will be stronger after this draft. It still leaves the question of quarterback in as wild a conundrum as ever.
"I think it’s just interesting to me that it’s a big deal that we know our board and all of a sudden we know who we want," Smith said. "That’s our job. I think we ought to know that. It’s a multitude of conversations that have happened over time."
"There are two positions that I never think you can have too many of: corners and tackles," Smith said. "I think you are always looking to improve the depth on both sides of the ball up front. We want to be a bigger, faster, stronger football team and that’s what we’re looking at."
"It was very painful to get here, but now that we have lived it for a while and prepared this way, it’s a very, very advantageous place to be because it gives us a chance to really impact our football team," Smith said.
New Head Coach Bill O'Brien is bringing in a philosophy of having a team that can prepare a different scheme and strategy week to week on both sides of the ball. Rick Smith is tasked with getting the types of players who can produce in multiple-scheme game plans. This is quite a departure from the ever predictable offensive and defensive systems employed by the Texans over the last several seasons under Gary Kubiak. This draft will need to be a massive success to help the Texans get back on track in a quick turnaround. With the top pick in each round, and eleven picks overall, they have the opportunity to get it right.
This time next week, we'll just be getting into the 4th round. We will already know who the Texans have picked in the first three rounds. This year, that's the area where the real potential for rookie starters exists in such a deeply talented draft class. My hopes are that the Texans trade back at least once and gobble up as many top three-round picks as possible. Regardless of trades up or down, I hope they get a solid quarterback and pass rusher who overachieve early and often.
We are nearly there, my fellow Texans fans! Share your thoughts below, and may you enjoy your last pre-draft weekend of 2014.