It seems all the pre-draft buzz has the Houston Texans wheeling and dealing to over-reach for a quarterback that most have labeled as not ready for prime time. However, the overwhelming evidence from the life and times of Rick Smith, Houston’s general manager, is that the Texans will do what no one expects.
Reigning NCAA Champion Deshaun Watson is in H-Town right now meeting with the Texans, but it’s doubtful he’ll be leading any bulls on any parade this year either.
Even those who don’t have Houston trading the world away for a quarterback probably have it wrong. Smith is one slippery cat when it comes to predicting what he’ll do next.
Even when Jadeveon Clowney was far and away the clear cut top prospect in the 2014 NFL Draft, Smith managed to make people guess all the way up until the moment the pick was turned in.
Don’t expect this year to be any different.
When Smith grabbed J.J. Watt, it caught people so off-guard that many Texans fans booed, hissed and otherwise cat-called Houston for doing something so unforeseen.
With that in mind, here are some off-the-wall predictions for what just might happen on April 27th or in the hours leading up to the 25th pick of the 2017 NFL Draft being turned in:
1 – Houston trades their 2017 first round pick, 2017 fourth round pick, 2018 third round pick, and Kareem Jackson to the Washington Redskins for Kirk Cousins.
This brings one of the most successful QBs in recent years into the Texans’ fold, leaves Houston with a second and third round pick this year to fortify the offensive line, and gives Washington some much needed help in the secondary with K-Jax, as well as a shot at Budda Baker, Jabrill Peppers, or one of the other highly touted defensive backs.
2 – Houston sends Jaelen Strong, their 2017 second round pick, and their 2018 third round pick to Los Angeles (Chargers) for Philip Rivers.
Rivers is a high-character southerner through and through who knows how to lead an offense. His presence would bring stability to Houston and allow the Texans to draft a QB of the future next year. By keeping this year’s first round pick, it also gives Houston a shot at drafting right tackle Cam Robinson to give the aging veteran signal-caller more protection. In return, the Chargers get a solid young receiver and two early picks to help them rebuild while they wait out their exile in the NFL’s smallest stadium.
3 – Houston sends Brandon Weeden and their 2017 second round pick to Cincinnati in exchange for A.J. McCarron.
While McCarron hasn’t had the success that Cousins and Rivers have had, he’s young and smart. Placing him in a QB room with Tom Savage and a rookie would give Bill O’Brien more options while not costing a ton. Many pundits are out on McCarron, but many were out on Matt Schaub too. Meanwhile, Cincinnati gains a a second rounder and a veteran presence behind Andy Dalton.
4 – Houston stands pat with the QBs they have, drafts another in the fourth or fifth round, and uses their early picks to draft/trade for more offensive line talent and depth on the defensive side of the ball.
This is probably the most likely scenario of the four and the least sexy. However, a quick analysis of Rick Smith’s tenure quickly reveals “sexy” is seldom used to describe his modus operandi. Honestly, we’ve never seen what Tom Savage can do behind a solid offensive line in a system that isn’t new to half the players on that side of the ball. If Bill O’Brien really is the offensive guru his PR team claims, this is not only the most likely scenario, it’s also the smartest one.
What do you think? Have another unexpected draft day trade idea? Upset Drew Brees didn’t appear in one of these scenarios? If you were Emperor of the Texans, what trade would you try to work to secure a shot at the 2017 Lombardi Trophy? Time to put on your GM hat! Amaze your friends and fellow fans in the comments below!