Draft Central: Whitney Mercilus
The Texans have the 27th overall pick in this year’s draft. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to pick 27th.
Since taking over as the team’s general manager in 2006, Rick Smith has made plenty of trades during the draft and this year might not be any different.
On Tuesday, during his pre-draft press conference, Smith said the team is open to trading its first-round pick, whether it is to trade up higher in the round or to trade out of the first round all together.
“In this draft there are a lot of players that we like in the mid-rounds and I think some players that can impact your football team,” Smith said. “I think maybe we’ve had one draft since I’ve been here that I didn’t execute a trade. We are always open to trades, moving up and moving back. We’ve done that and certainly are willing and open to doing that again this year as well.”
The Texans traded out of the second round last year before taking DeVier Posey with the 68th pick and Jared Crick with the 126th pick.
The last time the Texans traded their first-round pick was in 2008, when they gave up the 18th pick for the 26th and third- and sixth-round picks. That move ended up working out pretty well for both clubs.
The Ravens used the 18th pick to take Joe Flacco, who just helped Baltimore win the Super Bowl. The Texans used the 26th pick to take All-Pro offensive tackle Duane Brown and used the third-round pick to take Steve Slaton, who led the team in rushing in his first two NFL seasons.
Under Smith, the Texans have made eight draft-day trades, six of which have resulted in the Texans moving back and acquiring additional picks. They have made two trades to move up in the draft and have never moved up in the first round under Smith.
But if the Texans do stay at 27 on Thursday night, Smith thinks there will be a player they’d like to pick. He said the team’s draft board is already set.
“I’m confident there will be a player there that we like. I’m confident of that. Am I confident we won’t move? I don’t know,” he said. “There’s a dynamic that’s involved in the process during draft day Just depending on the way that the board falls, there may be a player that we’ve got a certain value on that’s all of the sudden available and we may want to go up and get him.
“Correspondingly, there’s teams that want to come up and grab players where we are. I do think that the 27th spot is an attractive spot from the standpoint that historically you look back and there are teams that come back into the draft in the latter part of the round if a player is there they have targeted earlier. So I think we’ll have some flexibility but I am confident if we don’t, we’ll get a good player. But we’ll be open.”