The Houston Texans have been the subject of several NFL Draft rumors over the last few months, though nothing has yet to come to fruition. The team was rumored to be looking to trade back from No. 1 overall, but they stayed put and selected Jadeveon Clowney, instead. The team was also reportedly close to a trade with New England for Ryan Mallett, and while that still could materialize, there's little indication that a deal is imminent.
But the rumor mill must turn. The latest from ESPN's Adam Schefter suggests that the team is interested in dealing the top pick of the second round, No. 33 overall, to whoever may be interested. The Texans need help at several positions -- notably quarterback, offensive line, wide receiver and tight end -- and in a deep draft securing extra draft picks may be wise.
So, can they pull it off?
NFL draft grades
Why this makes sense
The Texans were just jumped by the Minnesota Vikings for Teddy Bridgewater. Perhaps the Vikings wanted to make sure the could give their potential franchise passer a fifth-year option, or perhaps they had an inkling that the Texans were going to select the Louisville quarterback to start Round 2. If the latter is true, then the Texans may be looking to fall back knowing that there isn't a quarterback on the board that they like at No. 33.
They should be able to find a suitor. Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr may be an enticing prospect for another QB-needy team, for example. Several teams in need of a quarterback passed over their opportunities to draft one in the first round, including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, St. Louis Rams (arguably), Oakland Raiders and Arizona Cardinals. The Cards were projected to select Carr in the first round in the final mock draft by both Dan Kadar and Matthew Fairburn.
Or maybe Houston didn't want a quarterback at all with one of their first two picks. As Battle Red Blog points out, the Texans should have tried to trade into the first round if they truly wanted a quarterback so that they could have the ability to exercise a fifth-year option if need be. The fact that they didn't corroborates the idea that Bill O'Brien and co. aren't enamored with this year's quarterback class, so why not trade back to secure more picks and fortify elsewhere?
Why this doesn't make sense
Presumably the Texans want to take a quarterback this draft, and if they want a potential starter for next season they can't afford to wait too long. Carr is considered NFL-ready by many. Beyond him lay Zach Mettenberger, David Fales, Jimmy Garoppolo, Brett Smith and Aaron Murray. We don't know how the Texans have graded out this year's crop of quarterbacks, but at a glance those names may not be as tempting as Carr's.
There's also the question of whether Houston will be able to find a partner. The depth of this year's talent is such that there may be few players left worth trading up for except for one of a dwindling stock of quarterbacks. As with the start of the first round, the Texans may have to be happy with taking the best player available then going about their evening.