Texans prefer trading down to trading up

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The Texans traded up in the first round of the draft last year in order to select quarterback Deshaun Watson, but General Manager Brian Gaine said he was more open to moving the other way this year.

Gaine held a press conference on Friday and fielded the evergreen pre-draft question about the possibility of making trades over the three-day event next week. Gaine said the team isn’t ruling out a move up the draft board, but that he’d prefer getting “more at-bats” by moving down the board.

It might be easier to make plans to do that if they still owned the fourth overall pick. They sent the rights to their first-round selection to Cleveland to Watson last year and sent their second-round pick to the Browns along with Brock Osweiler in a different deal, which means they don’t have a selection until No. 68 this year. They have two other third-round picks and a fourth-rounder, which Gaine believes will still give them a chance to add good players to the roster.

“It’s a challenge, but we’re positive we can get contributing players in the first 103,” Gaine said, via John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.

Some of those picks could turn into trade bait as teams identify players they really want come the second day of the draft, but a lot will play out before the Texans get an idea about how much other teams want any of those third- and fourth-round picks.