The worst part about having the No. 1 overall pick (beyond, you know, earning it) is using it.
At some point, the Houston Texans must play that very valuable card, selecting one player and leaving all the rest on the board for someone else.
With a clear need at quarterback and the ability to pick any of them, the Texans will see the guy they select compared to the other top quarterbacks for the next few years, and perhaps beyond. Which makes it even more important to make the right selection.
Based on the various rumblings and rumors and other tidbits collected at the Scouting Combine, the best quarterback fit for the Texans could be former Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
Described by Mike Mayock of NFL Network as the “most ready-to-play NFL-style quarterback in this draft,” Bridgewater seems to get overlooked in the various conversations about the likes of Johnny Manziel and Blake Bortles. And while plenty of Texans fans would love to see the team take Manziel, the biggest question is whether Manziel would properly mesh with coach Bill O’Brien.
On one hand, being described by Brett Favre as a young Brett Favre can be a very good thing for Manziel. On the other hand, a young Brett Favre can make the remaining hair of any NFL head coach either fall out, turn gray, or both. Manziel has been trying diligently (some would say desperately) to create the impression that he’s not a we’re-talkin-bout-practice type of guy who wants to just go play, and that he’ll study the game and care about the game and work hard to constantly look for ways to improve his performance in games and win games.
O’Brien, given his years with Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, presumably wants a guy who’ll care obsessively about his craft. If O’Brien has any doubt that Manziel will be that guy, it could be that Bridgewater is.
For now, the Texans predictably (and wisely) are keeping their cards pressed tightly to the vest.
“We’re only a month and a half into this process,” O’Brien said, via Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle. “What people need to understand is that it takes a long time. It’s not something that you develop your thoughts about overnight.”
It also takes the right touch, from a P.R. perspective. Whatever the Texans do, they need to be able to create the impression that it’s exactly what they planned to do.
While it will be very easy for the Texans to create the impression that they got the guy they wanted if they use the No. 1 selection, the Texans have an opportunity to slide down a few spots and still get the guy they would have taken if they’d used the first pick. Given that possibility, it’s critical that no one know what the Texans would do, in order to prevent someone else from taking their top guy — and to preserve the ability to tell the fans and the media that the Texans got the guy they wanted all along.