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Texans could be laying foundation for a trade down

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As the Texans continue to host most of the guys expected to be taken at the top of the draft, the Texans could have a plan in mind other than making one of them the first overall selection on the evening of May 8.

The Texans could be seriously considering the possibility of trading down and then taking later in the top 10 the guy whose name they’d scrawl on the card if they use the top pick.

If that’s what the Texans do, they need to keep everyone guessing about the player they’d take later, so that they don’t get leapfrogged after trading down for the guy they want.  From a P.R. standpoint, the Texans also need to be able to claim with a straight face that they got the guy later in the round whom they would have taken at No. 1.  (Even if, you know, they don’t.)

A trade down makes more sense if, as Peter King recently suggested, Texans G.M. Rick Smith prefers linebacker Khalil Mack to defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.  Why take Mack with the first pick if someone else would give up plenty (potentially) to move up to the top to get Clowney?

Here’s another thought.  Maybe leaking the Mack preference is simply the Texans’ way of getting the word out in subtle fashion that the top pick is available, if someone wants to move up to get Clowney.  Maybe Clowney would still be the pick if Smith and new coach Bill O’Brien (pictured) can’t find a suitor, but the preference isn’t really Mack or Clowney but a trade down with the ability to get more opportunities to improve a team that was unexpectedly dreadful in 2013.

Regardless, the NFL’s decision to move one of the three offseason tent poles back by two weeks without also moving the other two (the Scouting Combine and free agency) has left everyone with extra time to fashion plans, to execute those plans, and also to then try to figure out what those plans may be.

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59 Responses to “Texans could be laying foundation for a trade down”
  1. edavidberg says: Apr 22, 2014 10:04 AM

    Houston is playing the game very well.

  2. elliottcovert says: Apr 22, 2014 10:06 AM

    I have to say I agree with Florio that moving the draft back two weeks is just annoying. There’s only so much draft analysis you can stomach before we get to the real thing.

  3. selgaeinla says: Apr 22, 2014 10:07 AM

    The NFL’s decision to move one of the three offseason tent poles back by two weeks without also moving the other two has also given fans and commentators plenty of time to gripe about the BORING BS this offseason has become.

  4. southpaw2k says: Apr 22, 2014 10:07 AM

    An NFL team running a smokescreen prior to the draft? Say it ain’t so!

  5. jd says: Apr 22, 2014 10:09 AM

    Quick question, who’s their quarterback again?

  6. campcouch says: Apr 22, 2014 10:11 AM

    Shrug.Draft positions are a result of records. Drafting a player for need is exactly that.Whoever gets taken number one all the way through 15 are needs for those teams. Doesn’t mean that they’re the best player. So if Houston doesn’t want to pay for a player that they can get later,so be it. Let some other team sell their next 3 draft seasons for a number one pick.

  7. habsfanatic says: Apr 22, 2014 10:12 AM

    Question is: who in the top 10 is willing to move up to get Clowney? Most teams don’t have the ammo to do it and in a very deep draft probably don’t want to lose those later picks either.

  8. wisconsinhillfolk says: Apr 22, 2014 10:16 AM

    Bill O’Brien and the Texas Houstons are going to suck for the foreseeable future no Matter their draft picks. Window is closed and nailed shut.

    That is all.

  9. apmn says: Apr 22, 2014 10:21 AM

    The defense isn’t the problem, Texans! Fix the QB situation.

  10. mazenblue says: Apr 22, 2014 10:23 AM

    Houston and Detroit are being smart.

  11. thestrategyexpert says: Apr 22, 2014 10:24 AM

    They can show any kind of face they want, but if it’s not believable that they got their #1 guy much lower, then that’s even worse because we will know that they gave up on the best choice possible and they are lying to us and they think we will buy into it. That’s 3 problems in one. The only way they can really sell it is if they take a QB since it would be believable that the QB they take was their highest rated QB.

    I think that Detroit is one of the top teams they could be talking to, so if they go down that far then that really eliminates all of the other positions and they very well could get their #1 QB at 10.

    And I assure you Mayhew would love to have the #1 pick, but then again that’s partly due to his being desperate to save his job for next year, and what better way to do that then to go all-in for the #1 player that you are convinced is the best of the best. He has nothing to lose that isn’t already lost, he can only win from here.

  12. aldavis4president says: Apr 22, 2014 10:25 AM

    They need to quit bsin, and take clowney. The thought of clowney and watt together is quite frightening. I personally thought they woulfve made a run at one of the F.A. AND since they still have a very good team.

  13. dabears2485 says: Apr 22, 2014 10:25 AM

    Pushing the draft back was stupid.

  14. johngaltwho says: Apr 22, 2014 10:33 AM

    “Houston – we have far more than one problem”

  15. 6ball says: Apr 22, 2014 10:34 AM

    The Texans are holding all the cards….. literally.


  16. sbelig says: Apr 22, 2014 10:34 AM

    The QB is the issue which is why trading out makes so much sense. None of these QBs are worth the number one. Better to close a deal with someone like Atlanta, accumulate more picks, get a QB with their 2nd round pick and grab more solid players. Depth and quality are far more important than “generational talent” with suspect drive and motivation.

  17. purpleguy says: Apr 22, 2014 10:39 AM

    Pushing the draft back and forcing me to read/hear even more speculation has actually made me less interested in the draft.

  18. notwithkubiak says: Apr 22, 2014 10:39 AM

    Historically, what Belichek assistant coach has done well as a head coach?

  19. realdealsteel says: Apr 22, 2014 10:39 AM

    Houston is TRYING to play the game. But it isn’t working. In a super deep draft, draft picks are worth more this year then ever before.

    Granted, Clowney, Watkins and Mack are the three most coveted, and someone would give more then one pick to get them but not too much more then that! There are no more “I”m going to punk you” deals to be made. After what the Rams did to the Redskins, every team is on alert not to get bent over the head board like the Redskins did for RGme.

  20. lostsok says: Apr 22, 2014 10:42 AM

    The problem with moving the tent-poles without moving the rest of the tent…you end up with a big hole in your tent.

  21. pantherfan40 says: Apr 22, 2014 10:45 AM

    browns will trade there first rounders for the next 3 years to get johnny

  22. talkingproud says: Apr 22, 2014 10:47 AM

    I have read 2 separate reports that claim the Buffalo Bills are trying to work out a deal with Houston for the 1st overall pick.

    Not sure who the Texans think that they can get @ #9 that they would draft first overall though.

  23. hawkstradamus says: Apr 22, 2014 10:49 AM

    Terelle Pryor and the#32 pick and next years #32 to the texans for the #1 pick this year. Hawkstradamus has fortold it.

  24. luz56 says: Apr 22, 2014 10:50 AM

    Moving the draft to May isn’t the smartest thing the NFL has done… It doesn’t help with the pre planning and the decisions with the June 1st cuts …. Clowney goes to Houston…. Robinson to StLouis then let the fun begin… QB class is better in 2015 so get pieces in place then take your guy next year….

  25. starfan79 says: Apr 22, 2014 10:52 AM

    the draft being moved back has made me less interested this offseason.. When you have free agent signings and then combine and then the draft all together it makes it more interesting.. Right now the NFL has run out of steam this offseason and ill catch the draft results on my own time.. This might be the first year I dont care about watching it.

  26. gooseusaf1 says: Apr 22, 2014 10:53 AM

    Houston hasn’t played a game well since the 2012-2013 season unfortunately.

  27. billco6192013 says: Apr 22, 2014 10:55 AM

    They want to trade down because they want a QB and johnny football will fill the seats.Johnny will be there at 3 or 4.They arent going to take clowney.take it to the bank.

  28. nflhof says: Apr 22, 2014 10:59 AM

    Wow this is just like the movie Draft Day!

  29. redbirdnation23 says: Apr 22, 2014 10:59 AM

    Someone in Houston if trying to pull of a Rams to Washington deal.. But I don’t think Clowney will turn out quite like RG3. But then again Clowney tried saying he didn’t play 100% last season because he didn’t want to get hurt. First off, that is the worst excuse I have heard, teams flat out handled him last year when watching tape. He has freakish talent but….c’mon man. As for taking Mack 1st pick, that is more money than they want to spend so trading back they better hope no one picks him (Mack) up depending how far back they go. But going back and getting maybe another first round next year or some good deal in that mind to slide back and still get a guy they want is a good deal for Houston. But if Clowney plays to his potential, him and Watt would be a ridiculous tandem from opposite sides..!

  30. azcards says: Apr 22, 2014 11:01 AM

    This is how it is going to happen:

    1) Texans GM will call Tampa’s GM and offer them the #1 for their pick in the 1st and 2nd round and a future first. (Tampa will reject this trade)

    2) Then Tampa will call the Texans back to try and accept the previous trade but now the Texans want an additional first round pick.

    3) During the draft, Jadaveon Clowney was not selected in the first 5 picks and the entire league starts to FREAK OUT and wonders what is wrong with him.

    4) Tampa now has the #6 pick and calls the Texans to offer them the #6 to swap and get ALL their previous trades picks back.
    Texans absolutely agree to this trade for the player they didn’t need in the first place.

    Yeah, this is realistic!

  31. jville808 says: Apr 22, 2014 11:14 AM

    I don’t see a trade down scenario where they land Mack. He’s not making it past #3 to the Jags.

  32. mrgdawg says: Apr 22, 2014 11:17 AM

    Move the draft back to Sat & Sun

  33. kingokra says: Apr 22, 2014 11:21 AM

    I’m pretty sure the idiot Falcons will trade away their entire draft to move up. Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.

  34. kayakattack says: Apr 22, 2014 11:26 AM

    If Houston wants Mack they really have to take him at #1 because he won’t make it past Jacksonville

  35. ronin36 says: Apr 22, 2014 11:38 AM

    I seem to remember that the venue was already booked for the normal draft-day.

    The NFL moved the draft back to avoid the conflict.

    I’d still prefer the draft move from city to city… Say you the Superbowl looser in 2014 (Denver) you get the 2015 Draft. That way it’ll move from city to city, new fans can experience it, etcetera.

    The draft prospects could still be invited to NY for a week of festivities prior to the draft, then they (and the commish) get on a plane and head to wherever the draft is being held.

  36. ballboy48 says: Apr 22, 2014 11:38 AM

    That only means Houston is going to be stuck with the #1

  37. granadafan says: Apr 22, 2014 11:45 AM

    There are no QBs wasting a first round draft pick on this year who you would want to be a franchise QB for years to come. They might be able to have a nice career as a backup, but teams are going to suffer with this batch of QBs.

  38. billsfan1 says: Apr 22, 2014 11:50 AM

    With buffalo to take Mack. Spikes, Mack, Kiko, and Hughes? Yes please

  39. lewiscafarella says: Apr 22, 2014 12:02 PM

    The Bills need to move up and take Clowney.

  40. chuckforeman44 says: Apr 22, 2014 12:02 PM

    The Rams/Redskins deal was nice, but Minnesota traded down from 3rd to 4th with Cleveland the same year so Cleveland could take Richardson. Why Cleveland made that deal is still a mystery to me. Unless they were thinking the Vikings wouldnt be able to make it to the podium in time and were just helping them out.

  41. lewiscafarella says: Apr 22, 2014 12:03 PM

    The Bills need to move up and take Clowney. Could u imagine, Clowney and Mario Williams on the edges?! Oh baby…another record breaking sack year. I know this is wishful thinking, but still….

  42. Andre's Johnson says: Apr 22, 2014 12:07 PM

    Whatever. I honestly just want them to take Clowney with the first pick and then whatever quarterback they like best (not named Manziel) with the 33rd pick. Don’t overthink this.

  43. 4evrnyt says: Apr 22, 2014 12:21 PM


  44. whatjusthapped says: Apr 22, 2014 12:26 PM

    I will admit this is purely a fantasy but I would love to see the Vikings trade into the number one slot and then fail to get their draft pick in on time (yet again) only to see St Louis jump in and grab Manziel only to have the Rams fleece the Vikings into trading for Manziel.

    That way the Vikings lose a boat load of draft picks in a very deep draft only to end up with a QB that is a bust.

  45. jimr10 says: Apr 22, 2014 12:34 PM

    thought so…

  46. byzr says: Apr 22, 2014 1:03 PM

    if they can get 2 firsts and a 2nd next year i would. Clowney is a once generation type talent but football is a team sport and no one player wins a super bowl ask Dan Marino

  47. Matt dog from C-town says: Apr 22, 2014 1:05 PM

    Houston is taking a QB….Don’t believe the hype!

  48. artiesliver says: Apr 22, 2014 1:06 PM

    There’s a rumor out there that O’Brien and his mentor Bill Belichick are going to make a major trade on draft day. With the Patriots ultimately taking Clowney. Whether that means the Patriots actually make the pick or the Texans pick and trade to NE has not been established but this is what is being floated out their.

  49. ebbycalvinlaloosh says: Apr 22, 2014 1:11 PM

    They better not move far. Mack won’t get past Gus Bradley and the Jags at #3.

  50. oldcracker says: Apr 22, 2014 1:23 PM

    With all of the top teams talking of trading down, it’s getting cheaper and cheaper to move up.

    However, as deep (not necessarily good) as this draft is why would any of the good teams give up any picks? (There are reasons the same team are good year after year)

    The only teams I see moving up to get Clowney, Mack, or Watkins are either the Bills or Falcons. Then again, neither of them are as stupid as the Redskins.

    Texans take Manziel, Rams take Watkins, Jags take Mack or Bortles, Browns take Mack or Carr, and Raiders take Clowney.

  51. thraiderskin says: Apr 22, 2014 1:25 PM

    As far as pass rush is concerned, Clowney hands down, but something that makes Watt so good is his ability to knock the ball down, perhaps Mack does things that reminds Houston of Watt and having two Watts isn’t a bad thing. If JJ was available in this draft, who would u take #1 overall? I think that makes the decision that much harder. Is that a knock on Clowney? Perhaps, but I don’t envy Houston at 1 if they really do like mack more.

  52. theytukrjobs says: Apr 22, 2014 1:36 PM

    For the love of God, why does everyone think the Texans would take a 4-3 defensive end with the #1 overall pick when they do not run a 4-3 defense? That isn’t happening people.

  53. dietrich43 says: Apr 22, 2014 2:05 PM

    Of course they want to trade down and get more picks. Everyone does. They need someone willing to trade up, and I doubt that happens. Falcons might go up to a few to get Clowney, but I doubt they want to go to the first pick.

  54. bluenose1965 says: Apr 22, 2014 2:07 PM

    Why does everyone think Mack would be guaranteed to go to Jacksonville with #3.

    There are several quality kickers on the board. Jacksonville have options.

  55. pecosbob says: Apr 22, 2014 2:37 PM

    Houston trades #1 overall to Cleveland for #4, #26, and #36. Cleveland takes Johnny Footbal, Houston Takes Khalil Mack, Louis Nix and Zack Mettenberger.

  56. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Apr 22, 2014 2:41 PM

    It’s that time of year when NFL GMs open their mouths, and you know they are lying.

  57. jjdoughertyx says: Apr 22, 2014 2:59 PM

    NFL had to move draft back a few weeks because of scheduling conflicts @ Radio City Music Hall…

  58. mustangbryk says: Apr 22, 2014 3:05 PM

    houston will blow it like always. they are a crappy orginization for a reason. Please pass on clowney let a winner get him.

  59. deezenucks says: Apr 22, 2014 8:36 PM

    This would be great for jags fans, Houston doesn’t take clowney and Jax gets Mack. Win win! Unless they trade with St Louis or take Mack at one see ya later!

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