Rotoworld put out their annual ranking of all general managers in the NFL, and the Texans’ Rick Smith once again measured up quite well.
9. Rick Smith, Texans
Last Year’s Ranking: 10
You are correct. Rick Smith not only signed Brock Osweiler, he then gave up on him after one season, paying the Browns a second-round pick to take him off the Texans’ hands. That was a screw up. But Smith isn’t defined by one move any more than anyone else on this list. The single most important decision a general manager makes every year is his team’s first-rounder. Smith has a track record few can match. Since 2006, here are Smith’s Day 1 selections: Mario Williams, Amobi Okoye, Duane Brown, Brian Cushing, Kareem Jackson, J.J. Watt, Whitney Mercilus, DeAndre Hopkins, Jadeveon Clowney, Kevin Johnson and Will Fuller. Okoye flopped and the jury is still out on Clowney and Fuller, but that is a ridiculous group. Thanks in large part to Smith hiring one of the game’s best coaches in Bill O'Brien, the Texans have made the playoffs four of the past six seasons. Smith’s team is a quarterback away from true greatness. He may never find it. That doesn’t diminish what he’s already accomplished.
A few things spring immediately to mind when reading this.
- Rick Smith was hired after the Mario Williams selection and was not involved with it (or the Texans) in any way at the time of the 2006 NFL Draft.
- Is the hiring of Bill O’Brien considered a positive if he and Smith don’t like each other?
- “Smith’s team is a quarterback away from true greatness.’’ This is true. It’s been a quarterback away for at least four years now. There’s a reason the BRB motto is ‘‘Waiting for next year since 2002.’’
All joking aside, the roster Smith has put in place is generally a strong one. It has numerous defensive stars (or stars in the making) and an offense that is one piece away from being quite good (that one piece being the most important one). What do you say, Texans fans? Is Rick Smith as good as Rotoworld make him out to be, or is his failure to find a long term solution to the QB problem a heinous crime that shall forever smear your perception of him?