First up, the firing of a scout right after the draft is often a “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” scenario. In this case, someone literally was fired:
Aaron Wilson (via Chron.com):
The Texans have moved on from national scout Frantzy Jourdain, according to a league source not authorized to speak publicly.
Jourdain was promoted from Southeast area scout to national scout two years ago.
The former New England Patriots scout was instrumental in helping the Patriots discover undrafted cornerback Malcolm Butler, who intercepted a key pass in a Super Bowl win over the Seattle Seahawks, out of West Alabama.
Jourdain was a running back and safety at Rhode Island and coached at Duquesne before being hired by the Patriots in 2003 as a player personnel assistant before being promoted to area scout.
If the Houston brass privately believed what they were publicly saying, scouts would be getting grandiose accolades, not terminations. Read into this what you will.
Next up, the character angle. On and around the days of the draft, we continually heard “height, length, strength,” but we all too often forget with Houston, it’s often all about the character aspects.
Brian Gaine, on first round pick Tytus Howard (via APNews.com):
“I felt like with each interval he was able to pass each segment with flying colors,” Gaine said. “He made a very favorable impression as far the intangible profile, the person, the character that matched with the physical ability and the physical traits. We felt like he checked all the boxes.”
In Howard’s post-draft press conference, he was already spouting the now infamous “I’m just looking to be the best teammate I can be” mantra, which means he’s bought in. Gotta love that.
(A fullback from Harvard?)
Another unheralded tidbit is about seventh round fullback Cullen Gillaspia. While many NFL teams don’t even field a fullback, and Houston rarely does either (and didn’t even have one last season after keeping Jay Prosch on the roster for several years), Gillaspia was drafted due to his high character and love of special teams. Gillaspia reportedly broke off an interview with multiple members of the press during the Senior Bowl to race off and participate in special teams drills with so much exuberance it was as if he forgot the media was even there. With Houston’s vast improvement on special teams last season, Gillaspia might just be another piece to the ST improvement puzzle that eluded Houston for so long.
While looking at this draft class pragmatically, on the surface it hasn’t painted a pretty picture yet - but when you dive deeper and start examining the details, hope really can spring eternal. Have any grains of hope you’ve encountered in your post-draft analysis? Have a tin-foil-hat laden theory about Houston firing a scout right after the draft? Let us know in the comments box.