Pre-draft rumors had any number of teams looking to trade up to select either Ohio State Buckeye quarterback C.J. Stroud or EDGE Will Anderson Jr. of the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Many rumors had the Houston Texans picking one or the other, or even trading back and collecting more picks.
A select few had the Texans taking Stroud with the #2 overall pick, then pulling off a mega-trade with the Arizona Cardinals to land Anderson Jr..
But Houston Texans braintrust DeMeco Ryans and Nick Caserio did just that.
And the NFL world turned on its ear.
C.J. Stroud: 'The city of Houston hasn't seen a franchise quarterback in a long time. I definitely think I can become a franchise quarterback. I got to put in a lot of work.'— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) April 28, 2023
GM Nick Caserio cited QB C.J. Stroud's toughness, competitiveness, leadership & accuracy as some of the key reasons Texans were comfortable picking him 2nd overall.— Drew Dougherty (@DoughertyDrew) April 28, 2023
The newest franchise QB of the Houston Texans: C.J Stroud pic.twitter.com/cY08zLBjlf— Drew (@IndepthTexans) April 28, 2023
I’ll admit I wasn’t sold on Houston taking Stroud. In fact, I preferred Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, who expectedly went 1st overall to the Carolina Panthers.
But then an odd thing happened.
When NFL commissioner Roger Goodell stepped to the podium to announce the 2nd pick in the draft - after all the booing of Goodell, a trademark of NFL drafts in recent memory, died off - I got excited.
Then, the instant I heard “C” in C.J. Stroud, my excitement went to 11. There was no disappointment that Houston took a guy I wasn’t sold on. There was no apprehension. No disdain. Just pure, distilled joy that our team did a thing. A cool thing.
But, once the graphic of who was on the clock changed to the Cardinals, my heart started racing again - somehow I just felt it in my bones that Caserio and Ryans were going to pull it off and Anderson Jr was coming to H-Town.
This is a lot of happiness to onboard. #WeAreTexans pic.twitter.com/lyUybdTKvN— Stephanie Stradley (@StephStradley) April 28, 2023
Prior to that exact moment, I’d considered the idea that Houston would actually trade up to #3 a fantasy - pipe dream, Madden football silliness that would never happen in real life.
But in that instant, I just knew it was coming.
And, then it happened.
They cooked pic.twitter.com/kY05O0LbSL— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) April 28, 2023
The #Texans have traded up and selected Alabama’s Will Anderson.— Nick Schwager (@NickSchwagerNFL) April 28, 2023
WHAT IS HAPPENING. pic.twitter.com/uNpZARsR7k
ABC didn’t immediately provide details of the trade, which are still slightly hazy (which 1st round pick did the Texans give up next year?), but I’m totally ok with that.
Gave up a lot, but landed 2 of the best in the draft. Totally ok with that. pic.twitter.com/nK1V6oVVmX— RedZonePlay (@RedZonePlay) April 28, 2023
What a bonkers night for the #Texans tonight! Get the possible franchise QB and franchise pass rusher back-to-back. Wrote about the “bonkers” scenario, but never thought that Houston would actually do it!!!— l4blitzer (@l4blitzer) April 28, 2023
Dameon Pierce, Christian Harris and Kenyon Green LIVE reaction to #Texans drafting Will Anderson minutes after taking CJ Stroud. #WeAreTexans pic.twitter.com/Lx36WmKxuz— Landry Locker (@LandryLocker) April 28, 2023
Now, there’s still a LOT of work to be done, both in the remaining 6 rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft, and for Stroud, Anderson and the coaching staff. However, in this moment, right here, right now, the Texans have won.
It’s been far too long since this team’s fanbase could enjoy this sort of feeling. Soak it up, breath it in, exhale it at work all over any Cowgirl fans you encounter. Remember this day for the rest of your fan-life.
It doesn't matter what happens today or tomorrow. But even if it did, In Demeco We Trust.
In the meantime: