NFL Draft rumors: Texans need huge haul to deal top pick

Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE

Houston is willing to trade out of the top spot but only for a king's ransom.

The Houston Texans hold the top pick in the first round of Thursday's NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. According to Ian Rapoport, the team is willing to deal out of that spot but only for a swap of first rounders and a pair of additional first round picks.

Why it makes sense

There has been rampant speculation that the selection will be used on either Buffalo's Khalil Mack or South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney. However, general manager Rick Smith needs to be open to acquiring more picks for a team which finished 2-14 last season.

The Texans could use the other high selections to fill other positions of need such as safety or quarterback down the road. Anytime you can load up on ammunition in the draft, any draft, it is a solid strategy.

Why it doesn't make sense

Despite being 2-14, Houston has a ton of talent on the roster with players like J.J. Watt, Andre Johnson, Brian Cushing, Johnathan Joseph and Arian Foster. Adding a player such as Clowney or Mack gives new head coach Bill O'Brien another potentially great athlete to work with.

In a somewhat weak AFC South, Houston could be right back in the playoff chase this season. Why pass on the best player in the draft for picks that may turn out to be busts down the line?

Likelihood (1-10): 1

As much as many teams undoubtedly think of Clowney and Mack, giving up that kind of haul for anything but a quarterback is borderline insane. A general manager making that trade would risk his job with a decision like that, and would lose it if Clowney became a bust.

San Fran looking to tango?

The San Francisco 49ers are going to be aggressive in trying to trade up into the first half of the opening round, according to Sports Illustrated's Peter King. King believes we could see a similar move to when the Falcons traded up to acquire Cleveland's pick for Julio Jones.

Why it makes sense

San Francisco might be only one player away from dethroning the Seattle Seahawks and getting back to its second Super Bowl in three seasons. The 49ers could use another receiver to pair with Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin, and moving up would satisfy that with so many good receivers available.

Why it does not make sense

General manager Trent Baalke has six picks in the top 100. This draft is more loaded than perhaps any other in the past decade. Dealing a litany of those selections is extremely risky and even counter-productive. Baalke could take a couple of receivers in those picks, strengthening his odds of landing a playmaker.

Likelihood (1-10): 4

It takes two to pull off a deal like this. Ultimately, the Niners will probably find a team willing to move back for a boatload of picks, but will Baalke and Co. have the gumption to pull the trigger? It is easy to talk about, but much harder to actually execute.

Martin, Beckham in top 12?

According to ESPN's John Clayton, Notre Dame offensive lineman Zack Martin and LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. are good bets to go in the top dozen picks on Thursday night. With teams needing a blindside protector and solid receivers, both men could be very hot commodities.

Why it makes sense

Both are excellent prospects and have been rising up draft boards for months. Three tackles in Greg Robinson, Taylor Lewan and Jake Matthews are all expected to go before Martin, but he might fit with the Bills or Giants. Beckham is rated behind Mike Evans and Sammy Watkins, but could find a home with the Lions.

Why it does not make sense

There are so many quality prospects at the top of the draft, and only so many spots. To have both in the first dozen picks, there would likely have to be four offensive linemen and a trio of receivers taken. It's possible, but not the best bet.

Likelihood (1-10): 3

Martin has a better chance of going that early. Beckham might be a nice play for the Rams at the 13th pick, but it is hard to find a great fit earlier than that.

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