The NFL draft has come and gone and Texans’ head coach Bill O’Brien has left his mark as always. Is he a bad GM or is he a horror movie come to life?
The NFL draft has come and gone and the Houston Texans Bill O’Brien has left his mark as always. Is he a bad GM or is he a horror movie come to life for Texans fans? House Of Houston’s Andrew Elderbaum says both.
So as we close out the NFL draft, I’m forced once again to discuss the merits of Bill O’Brien the GM. I wasn’t planning on it, but the man has forced me into this position. He’s becoming the NFL’s version of Minnesota’s own David Kahn. As a writer, I’m truly appreciative of the material, but as a human I worry about the well being of Texans fans.
Entering the draft with limited capital to begin with, thanks to some dubious deals over the last year, O’Brien managed to turn three picks into one in order to trade up and grab Charlie Heck in round 4. Heck is an offensive tackle, as are Laremy Tunsil and Tytus Howard. Howard was a first-round selection last year and Tunsil was acquired for two first-round picks, and a second-round pick. So O’Brien has used his first-round pick in the 2019, 2020, and 2021 drafts, his second in 2021, and three more picks this year (a 4th and two 7ths) to get three tackles. Savvy.
The acquisition of Ross Blacklock is fine, though I would have preferred Grant Delpit. Blacklock will occupy lineman, hopefully, push the pocket and provide some lanes for J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus this year. He is not going to be an All-Pro but should be able to contribute.
Jonathan Greenard was a productive edge rusher with limited athleticism. His production was mostly due to his sound technique and football IQ. Unless the Texans coaching staff has a way of making players more athletic via motivational speaking, he’s probably reached the limits of his potential, though others disagree.
It also questions the team’s thoughts on Jacob Martin‘s future as well (acquired for Jadaveon Clowney along with this pick). If your scoring at home O’Brien turned Clowney into two edge rushers he gave up on in a year and a pick who won’t be as good as the guys he gave up on. Savvy.
O’Brien finally addressed the secondary with the selection of John Reid. Reid’s a great corner other than the fact he can’t tackle, and at 5-foot-10 and 187 pounds, he gets manhandled by receivers. He’s shown ball skills, but struggles with technique. The good thing is he has the excellent speed to try to run after the receivers that blew by him at the line of scrimmage. Silver linings right?
His next selection was wide receiver Isiah Coulter. Coulter will be competing for the 5th receiver slot and possibly special teams. He also provides us with the opportunity to review the Houston wide receiver core. Their top two receivers are Brandin Cooks and Will Fuller, who are both made of paper mache and wishes.
Kenny Stills is their third receiver and might actually be better than the first two because he has a
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shot to play every game. Randall Cobb is making eighteen million dollars guaranteed to play out of the slot, which is where the underrated and less expensive Keke Coutee should be getting snaps. Coulter is undersized and is a poor route runner, but other than that might be okay. Cool. I definitely couldn’t have found some change under couch cushions to retain DeAndre Hopkins.
I know there’s a 7th-rounder still to come unless O’Brien trades it for a nerf football that whistles and a 6th round pick in the next XFL draft, but I’m going to wrap this up anyway. O’Brien has turned Jadaveon Clowney, DeAndre Hopkins, and a slew of draft picks into David Johnson, Stills, the edge rushers they’re already moving on from and three tackles.
Most GM’s kill franchises slowly and stealthily. Some bad drafts, a few onerous contracts and before you know it you’re the Miami Dolphins. It’s like a movie where one spouse slowly poisons the other while driving them to the doctor every week who just can’t figure out what’s wrong. Bill O’Brien is more like Jack Nicholson in The Shining.
The Hopkins trade was his “Here’s Johnny!!” moment, and Texans fans are all Scatman Crothers. When O’Brien had his hissyfit the other night I guarantee you his draft computer just read “all work and no play makes Bill a dull boy” over and over. So there’s my draft recap…bad picks and Stanley Kubrick and the ghosts of Schaub and Carr to haunt Houston forevermore.