HOUSTON - Would anyone else want a do-over?
The Houston Texans enter the 2021 offseason with hopes of building a better culture in a new regime. ... Easier said than done following a 4-12 season and the firing of head coach/general manager Bill O'Brien.
The Texans will begin fresh with David Culley and Nick Caserio as the hopeful architects to help the rebuild run smoothly. Both come from winning backgrounds and have a vast knowledge of what works and what doesn't for their respective systems.
That all starts by winning in the draft, an area Houston failed last season.
NFL.com's Gennaro Felice graded Houston's 2020 draft class as the 31st-ranked unit from last season. Only AFC South rival Tennessee fared worse in this grading scale.
Then again, the Texans were at a disadvantage following the trade of a first-round pick for left tackle Laremy Tunsil, and the DeAndre Hopkins debacle.
Five players combined for a grand total of 847 total snaps in 2020. The top two selections, Ross Blacklock and Jonathan Greenard, combined for nearly half that production to go along with five quarterback hits and a sack.
In a re-Draft, what would Houston do this time around. Would Blacklock be the guy?
In retrospect, we say "no.'' Instead, we believe Houston's three best options should have been based on versatility rather than straight position of need.
Should the draft board have fallen in similar fashion, Houston might have considered upgrading their receiving corp. With Will Fuller in a contract year and the Texans trade of Hopkins, a name like Notre Dame's Chase Claypool could have been the smarter play.
The 6-foot-4 Canadian native shined for the Pittsburgh Steelers following his selection nine picks after Blacklock. More than just a vertical threat, Claypool helped Pittsburgh's passing attack flourish early with 62 catches for 873 yards and 11 total touchdowns.
Should Houston have stayed on defense, upgrading the 30th-ranked defense with a name in secondary would help. The Chicago Bears watched Jaylon Johnson transcend into a quality cornerback in man coverage. How would the Utah product have fared in Anthony Weaver's system?
Caserio played a vital role in the selection of Michael Onwenu, who was herald as a draft steal by the Patriots. The sixth-round selection excelled at all three positions in New England's run-heavy scheme during his first season. Onwenu also graded out as Pro Football Focus' sixth-best rookie from the class.
In fairness, Blacklock still could thrive in new coordinator Lovie Smith's defense, as could Greenard should he shift down to a defensive end. But for now, the two struggled as rookies.
And also in fairness: We could pick apart any team's Draft Weekend "coulda's, woulda's and shoulda's.'' But the performance of the 2020 Texans, and the performance of their rookies, earns second-guessing.
A re-Draft game paints a picture of what could have been for Houston. Here's to learning from past mistakes.
CONTINUE READING: Texans NFL Draft Tracker: A upgrade a DB