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2020 NFL Combine: Where There’s Smoke, There’s Mirrors

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What’s real? What’s diversion? Who are the Houston Texans really interested in this week?

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Combine is in full swing, which means so too are all the smoke screens and wild goose chases teams engage in to hide their true intentions. The number of players who have uttered the words, “I had no idea the (insert team here) were interested in me until I got the call that they were drafting me” are almost as numerous as those who were convinced they were going to Team X, only to have X pass them up and Team Y grab ‘em.

This is the time of year when players like Deshaun Watson have nasty rumors circulated about them just to undercut their draft value in the hopes they fall to a team like the Cleveland Browns. It’s the time of year guys with the potential to have Hall of Fame careers have millions of dollars sliced from their career earnings due to photographic evidence of really dumb decisions they made as kids.

With that, we also get the dozens of “Team X met with Player B at the Combine” stories. So far, not much is different this year.

Guys like Washington’s Salvon Ahmed, Boston College’s A.J. Dillon, Florida’s La’Mical Perine, Baylor’s Jamycal Hasty, TCU’s Darius Anderson and Maryland’s Anthony McFarland have all had alleged meetings with the Texans so far during the Combine.

Odds of all them actually being on Houston’s draft board? Approximately ZERO.

Over at Bleacher Report, Matt Miller had this to say about the Texans combine rumors:

Houston — No first-rounder makes this team tough to nail down, but I’m told it would like to add another pass-rusher and improve the running back position. Carlos Hyde rushed for 1,000 yards last season, but the Texans want more of a pass-catching threat to work with Deshaun Watson.

Other players to allegedly take into consideration:

Of course, Houston is bound to select a player they’ll remain unconnected with in the media until the moment the pick is handed over to the commissioner during the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Either way, it seems clear Houston is focused on running backs and defensive linemen. What that means for Carlos Hyde and D.J. Reader is anyone’s guess, but it probably doesn’t shine a happy light on either of them returning to H-Town in 2020. Nor does it say much for the rumor that Derrick Henry will suit up in Battle Red next season.

But that’s the fun of the offseason; it’s all speculation, all the time.

Who do you think Houston is truly focused on? What players do you foresee becoming “the best player they can be” in a few months? Give us your prognostications.