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Texans GM Nick Caserio Eyes 2022 NFL Draft

Houston Texans general manager Nick Caserio discusses the importance of the last few games for collegiate players.

With the clock ticking on the college careers of players across the country, and the NFL Draft just five months away, the importance of nailing every single snap they have left grows by the minute. 

Houston Texans general manager Nick Caserio surely has his attention set on next year's draft, especially given the number of holes this team has to fill. 

So, which college players have the most to gain from the last few games of their collegiate careers?

"Where it matters most is if a player maybe hasn't played as much early on in the year because he's had circumstance(s) - whether it was because another player was playing ahead of him, he had an injury that prohibited him from playing," Caserio said. "For the most part what you think of the player going into the spring or the summer before that fall doesn't materially change, the grade's not going to materially change.

"It might be some positioning that goes along with it, but it's just another opportunity for him to go out there and just verify maybe what you thought or you know what this guy maybe played a little bit better, maybe there's some circumstances why. So we have to go back to the staff and say 'okay, where's the delta? What happened?'"

From the Texans' point of view, this will arguably be one of the more important drafts they've faced to date given the state of this team and the sparse number of players they have under contract moving forward.

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But with nine draft picks already confirmed for 2022 and more potentially on the way either via compensation or if Deshaun Watson is traded prior to the draft, Caserio should have plenty of darts to throw at the proverbial board next April.

And for those currently fighting for every last snap they can get their hands on to impress the likes of Caserio, they should take some comfort in knowing that if they can perform, regardless of where they are, they'll be noticed.

"It really doesn't matter where you come from," Caserio said. "If you have a certain level of physical skill and acumen, people are going to find you."

And should you make your way in, it's essentially your job to lose. Mentioning the likes of former Indianapolis Colt Pierre Garcon and former Texan Cecil Shorts, who both worked their way into the league out of Division III Mount Union, Caserio had the following to say:

"Once they're given an opportunity, then everybody's on an equal playing field. So it's about your improvement, it's about can you take the coaching, can you apply the concepts that you're taught, and how do you actually perform with those opportunities. Getting there is the hardest part, it doesn't necessarily matter where you come from, maintaining it, staying there, that's ultimately the hardest thing."

Ultimately, these last few games may not sway Caserio and Co.'s opinions on the more "embedded" collegiate starters, but for anyone battling against the odds to make it for one reason or another - they could be make or break.