HOUSTON -- The Houston Texans made two trades during the 2021 NFL Draft. One was to move up into the third round for wide receiver Nico Collins. The other was for TCU linebacker Garret Wallow.
For Texans GM Nick Caserio, those are risks that might come to backfire. However, when on the clock at No. 147, Miami tight end Brevin Jordan was still on the board. That has a chance for a big payoff.
Sometimes value outweighs positional need. In this case, Jordan's upside was worth passing on other names when the Texans made him its third selection.
"The players are going to create their opportunities," Caserio said after the draft. "We have to get them on the team, however they get them here, you draft them, you sign them in free agency, you trade for them, whatever the case may be.
"Then once they're here, ultimately the competition is going to dictate who plays, who doesn't play and what their role is."
And now they are here, in Houston, participating in the rookie minicamp. And coach David Culley's first impression of Jordan?
"We feel like we got a steal with him,'' Culley said. "It was a no-brainer with the ability he has.''
Jordan was considered by many as the No. 3 tight end in the class behind Florida's Kyle Pitts and Penn State's Pat Freiermuth. Most scouts projected him off the board by late Friday evening.
Instead, he waited for most of Saturday morning, eventually becoming the eighth tight end selected. Once he saw the 713-area code, nothing else mattered.
“It was such a crazy feeling. I’ve been waiting," Jordan said. "I was just so scared. I was just so scared and to finally get the call, it was beautiful. I saw that Houston number and just freaked out.”
Production might not be a worry for Jordan at the next level. ... because when healthy, he's always produced. He won the starting job with the Hurricanes during his freshman season after being 247Sports No. 1 tight end prospect in 2018. Since then, injuries have been the main concern on his status as a top-tier player.
He missed four games in 2019 with a Lisfranc foot injury. Last season, he missed three starts due to a shoulder injury. Still, he finished each season with at least 35 catches for an average of 14.2 yards per play.
"I came in as true freshman, deer-in-the-headlights freshman and I earned my spot. I had to come in and compete," Jordan said. "I had to come in and earn my spot. So, I think that’s just going to help me going into the NFL, playing with the Texans. I’m going to have to compete. I’m going to have to earn the trust of my teammates.”
Jordan says he spends time watching tight ends of yesterday to help him hone his craft. He considers himself a chess piece on offense — line him up and let him work.
That doesn't mean it won't take time to adjust to NFL speed. It's an area Jordan hopes to improve on his technique to better adjust to the defenders.
“The defensive ends and the linebackers (will be) a lot bigger and lot stronger," Jordan said. "I mean just going in there adding some strength, adding some muscle to my mass, just going in there having to block those guys is going to be the biggest adjustment.”
Houston has questions entering OTAs and the summer months. Is Davis Mills the future under center? Will the 37 new additions help Houston improve from the 4-12 last season? What's the value of Deshaun Watson via trade?
Caserio's latest additions via the draft might pan out or fizzle in Year 1. However, talent like Jordan's falls only occasionally in a GM's career.
After being drafted Saturday evening, Jordan tweeted out a message for the Texans' fans.
HOUSTON.... let’s work!
Consider that a promise of what is to come. Because this "risk'' very much can work. The head coach says it is so.
CONTINUE READING: Can This High-IQ Texans Rookie Be A Team Leader?