The 2021 NFL Draft is less than two weeks away and while most teams are preparing to draft a first round talent to bolster their roster, the Houston Texans don't have that luxury. Instead, as things currently stand, they will make their pick in the third-round with the 67th pick.
And it's likely to remain that way.
Texans general manager Nick Caserio has some experience with drafting late as he had to in New England with the Patriots. However, the situation is completely different as Houston is in the thick of a rebuild while also experiencing uncertainty at the quarterback position due to legal reasons.
However, could the Texans trade up or down in the draft and perhaps accelerate that rebuild? Caserio leaves open the possibility in his latest press conference when asked about the possibility.
"I think when you just look at the draft in general, there's a multitude of strategies that you can employ. A lot of that is based on resource allocation and a lot of it is really player-driven," said Caserio. "So when you talk about, a, moving up for a player or moving up in the draft, who are you moving up for and what's the cost associated with doing that? So in order to move X number of spots, OK, it's going to cost you this, right? So part of our draft, I would say preparation is to look at different scenarios, how far could we actually move relative to the resources that we currently have in place?"
However, the Texans do not have a lot of draft resources that teams would be interested in moving for. There is little benefit to move down in the draft from the 67th pick. Meanwhile, Houston has little to offer to actually move into the first or even second-round of the NFL Draft.
Yet, that does not stop Caserio from considering what it would take to go get "the guy" that the team is targeting in the draft. And, a move can be an incremental one ... while still being an important one.
Said Caserio: "The most important thing is always being prepared to pick whenever you're scheduled to pick, and if there's an opportunity to move up or down, we'll be flexible, we'll be open-minded and we'll just try to make best use of the resources that we have.''
It is, Caserio noted, as much about the target as it it the math.
"I would say there's no set formula of going up or going down, and it's very player-specific and very player-driven,'' he said. "If you feel you might be at risk of potentially losing a player and there's a player that you really like, OK, maybe it's worth moving five or six spots and then what's the cost associated with doing that?"
The "five or six spots'' concept is sensible. A bigger move than that would require giving up 2022 picks - the sacrifice of future premium selections being the exact issue that has created Houston's present lack of draft ammo.
The Texans and Caserio fully understand the position that they are in, but that does not mean that they cannot make the most of it. Plenty of the top players in the NFL were drafted in third round of the NFL Draft such as Russell Wilson, Alvin Kamara and future Hall of Famer Jason Witten.
Caserio has a good track record when it comes to drafting, Texans fans should not be quick to discount the situation just yet. ... while understanding that the move-up cupboard is largely bare.