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2021 NFL Draft: Texans Swap Picks With Patriots, Acquire Offensive Tackle Marcus Cannon

Incoming offensive line depth.

New England Patriots v New York Jets Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Houston Texans general manager Nick Caserio has spent the morning glued to his phone. He turned draft pick swaps into Marcus Cannon after he turned Benardrick McKinney into Shaq Lawson. The world waited for the former Patriots staffer to make a trade with New England, and now, this trade is here. Houston exchanged their fourth, fifth round, and sixth round selections with the Patriots to add Cannon.

Cannon is a 32 year old former fifth round selection. He started 69 games for the Patriots, and was their primary starter at right tackle from 2016 to 2019. He opted out last season due to COVID-19.

It’s a strange trade though. Houston has a right tackle in Tytus Howard, who has excelled as a pass protector at the position, but has consistently struggled in the run game. Moving him to guard won’t help these woes, and limits his best skill set, protecting out on the edge. The trade for Cannon signifies either Howard will move to guard, or that Cannon will move from right tackle to right guard in Houston. The best guess is that Cannon will move to guard so Howard can stay out on the edge.

This opens the door for Zach Fulton to be released or for him to move to center to compete with Justin Britt at center. Regardless, and thankfully, Fulton’s days at right guard have come to an end.

Every decision Houston makes has two different lenses to view it through. There’s the lens where they keep Deshaun Watson, and the lens where they trade Watson. By swapping picks, this trade seems to represent that Houston is going to try and push the Deshaun Watson trade further along. It’s the first move they’ve made that represents the notion and claim that Watson is the quarterback of the Houston Texans because he plays for the Houston Texans.

Most want to make an immediate answer to who won or lost a trade. This is one of those trades that is murky with multiple variables bombarding it. It’s a wait-and-see trade lacking conclusive ramifications. For now, wait and see. That’s all we can do.