With the Super Bowl over, the official end of the 2013 NFL season is upon us. The next few months you will see a plethora of guesses, mocks and tweets, oh the tweets, about what each and every team will do with their picks in the upcoming draft. In my next series of articles, I will be trying to figure out exactly who the Texans will draft with their number 1 overall pick.
Every year draft experts look through team needs and say this team is for sure going to take this WR because they were so bad at WR last year. Looking at the draft from this perspective one can only see part of the equation. Over the years, General Managers develop certain tendencies that most draft experts seem reluctant to include in their draft previews. The GM of the Houston Texans Rick Smith is no different, he has some draft tendencies that need to be discussed before anyone can delve into which players the Texans will consider with their first pick this year.
Starting with looking back over the history of Rick Smith led drafts, the 2007 – 2013 Houston Texans. He has selected 56 players, 27 on Offense, 28 on Defense, and one Fat Randy for Special Teams, a surprising level of parity between the defensive and offensive side of the ball. Digging further, on the offensive side of the ball, Rick selected, 2 Quarterbacks, 2 Running Backs, 5 Tight Ends, 6 Wide Receivers, 7 Offensive Tackles, 3 Guards, and 2 Centers; and on the defensive side of the ball, he selected 8 Cornerbacks, 5 Safeties, 6 Linebackers, 3 Defensive Tackles, and 6 Defensive Ends.
Looking at these numbers it is easy to see there are certain positions Rick is more than likely to address in any given draft. There has been at least one defensive back, either safety or corner, selected in every draft but one (2012), and in 2011 they selected Brandon Harris, Roc Carmichael, and Shiloh Keo in that order with consecutive picks, so obviously the guy likes his former position. Additionally, there has been an obvious push for offensive line talent Rick has drafted an offensive lineman in every draft he has lead.
Focusing in on the first pick in the draft very little trends seem to appear. His selections have been:
As you can see five of the seven have been defensive players, and all but one remain on the team. Rick has a pretty good track record in first rounders, Duane Brown, Brian Cushing, and JJ Watt are seen by many as close to if not the best at their positions. The only player you can say for certain he missed on was Amobi Okoye, who is the only first rounder not still with the team. So, what do all these picks have in common? Not much, but what I can say for certain about them is that they all came at a position of need for the team.
Every pick was made to address an already weak position group, but not neccessarily the weakest group on the team, with possibly the exception of Kareem Jackson (when Rick made the Kareem pick everyone saw them picking corner for months maybe not him but we all saw that coming). So, where does this get us? Well, the main thing you have to remember is Rick likes to pick players at positions that are weak in the first round. Therefore, to understand who the Texans might pick with the first pick overall in this years draft, you have to evaluate which positions are those that Rick feels are weak, which is what I will try to do with my next article in this draft preperation series.