Preparing for any NFL Draft is never an exact science, but this year's could be even tougher than usual.
Houston Texans general manager Nick Caserio spoke Thursday about the upcoming draft, and he admitted that predicting where players will fall this year is tougher than usual.
"This draft, generally speaking, it's a little bit of a crapshoot," Caserio said. "I think there's players that are all over the place. I don't think there's a consensus on any player. I think if you talk to different teams, you talk to different people; 'Who's the top player at this position?' There's six players ... you could get six different answers. So I'd say that could make it a little bit more hectic."
This uncertainty and unpredictability has been evident from the beginning of mock draft season, with NFL experts and armchair GMs putting forward a vastly different idea of how things will unfold on a daily basis.
Take edge rusher for example: At one point or another, Aidan Hutchinson, Kayvon Thibodeaux and Tayvon Walker have all been touted as the top prospect this year.
By comparison, look back only a year ago and the prospect of anyone other than quarterback Trevor Lawrence going first overall would have had led to being blackballed from Twitter.
For the Texans, regardless of how the chips fall, Caserio and Co. have plenty of players to fall back on.
"I'd say there's roughly 80 to 100 players that we would actually draft," Caserio said.
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From the outside looking in, the consensus hope is that the Texans will have perhaps one or two starting-caliber defensive backs, receivers and linemen at the very least among their picks.
But don't expect the Texans to focus solely on drafting to fit what the consensus believes to be a need.
"You have to be careful about what your 'needs' are, or what people perceive your needs to be and then just picking players on your need," Caserio said. "Pick good football players that you think are gonna enhance your overall team and give yourself the opportunity to put together a sustainable team over the course of however many years."
This theme of trusting your instincts was a common thread throughout Caserio's press conference. He emphasized the importance of trusting the team's prep work regardless of whatever else is going on in what will likely be a "hectic" draft.
"You have to trust your information, trust your resources, trust your preparation, trust your evaluation of the player," Caserio said.
If all else fails, and this crapshoot of a draft doesn't deliver for the Texans in the long run, well Caserio had an answer for that, too.
"If a player works Lovie (Smith) will get the credit, if he doesn't, you guys can blame me," he said.