Texans draft grade. An analysis of their 2021 draft class
What did you do Bill O’Brien?? WHAT THE F*** DID YOU DO??? That one statement essentially summarizes the entire 2020 and beginning of the 2021 league year for the Texans. They were plush with elite talent. They had the great left tackle blocking for the great quarterback who was throwing to the great wide receiver. Then, on the other-side, they had the all-time great lineman rushing the passer creating havoc for all those around him to capitalize on. Then, in a snap of his finger, he made all of that go away, with the same indifference towards human life as Thanos.
This was a team on the precipice of becoming one of the elite teams in the league. In 2019, they nearly knocked off the Chiefs in Kansas City before squandering a double-digit lead. Had they won that game they would have certainly beaten the Titans and gone to their 1st ever Super Bowl. Would Bill even been allow to blow up the team in the manner he did at that point? Leading to a tumultuous 2020 campaign which didn’t even have the zing of “hey, at least we beat the Patriots” because they sucked just as much.
Now, the Texans are completely devoid of talent and have the luxury of having a franchise QB making franchise QB money and not being an option to play or to trade. All while having no one to throw to, no one to hand-off to, no one to block for him, and no one to get him the ball back. The best part is that they had NO draft capital to rebuild with. NONE. ZERO. ZILCH. NADA. The 3rd worst team in the league was without the 3rd and 35th picks in the draft, all because O’Brien panicked and gave up the farm to get a good left tackle, a year prior to two of the deepest drafts in the last 10-15 years.
The best part is that the mismanagement didn’t stop! Cal McNair, who in no way is the prototypical “born with silver spoon in hand”, was duped by con-man Jack Easterby. You know, the same guy that thinks Bostonians perpetually need to “pak the ca” and that all Californians “totally want to catch that wave”. No, there’s no way that you could even create a connection between Cal McNair being suckered in by this dude and Michael Scott donating money to the Prince of Nigeria.
The worst part is that the Texans made a PHENOMINAL hire in bringing in Nick Caserio from the Patriots, who went to having to deal with Belichick feverously shaking his head saying “Nope, nope. I know better.” to having to pull Easterby’s head out his boss’s a**.
Don’t even get me started on the roster. It was clear a rebuild needed to happen and you had plenty of interest in Deshaun Watson. You could have easily moved him for 3 1sts and some other picks, basically recouping what you lost in the Tunsil trade. Hell, you might have been able to send him back to Miami for the 3rd overall, Tua, AND future 1st rounders. But no, YOU HAD TO WAIT for an offer based around four 1st round picks. A deal that would have been unprecedented.
Instead, you were rewarded with a QB that liked, excuse me, insisted on “happy endings”, which tanked his value and might not even be available for the season. So, when you do go to trade him, because it’s inevitable, the return is going to be laughable compared to what you could have gotten. Now, with a roster in disarray and a cap that is completely tied up in two players with no way out of them, the Texans find themselves in Purgatory. Which seems fitting since their Executive VP of Football Operations is a silver tongue sleazeball preacher.
It would seem easy to do a Texans draft grade analysis considering they only have one pick in the first three rounds, but breaking down all the poor decisions by this team over the past couple of years is actually a lot to cover.
Our Texans draft grade should not surprise many, especially Texans fans.
Stanford QB Davis Mills (Round 3, Pick 67)
What a waste of a pick and horrible addition for our Texans draft grade. In what world is this kid going to succeed? One of the most talented QBs in the league couldn’t win with this roster and you expect a rookie 3rd rounder to be “the future?. Get out of here with that non-sense. There are two scenarios that play out here:
- Deshaun Watson doesn’t go anywhere and cleans up his act. Which makes Davis Mills irrelevant.
- The Texans suck for the next 5 seasons and amass top-5 pick after top-5 pick. Which means they’ll target a top QB eventually and that makes Davis Mills irrelevant.
So, why in a draft that you have two picks in the top 100, would you waste one on a QB? Why not use this opportunity to grab high-upside players at other positions that actually have a shot at playing/succeeding on such a decrepit roster. Edge rusher Joseph Ossai would have been an interesting selection for this defense, all he did for Texas was live in the backfield. Who knows, perhaps he turns into a solid pass-rusher, one that can eventually replace Whitney Mercilus and become a starter down the road. What about Chazz Surratt here? An inside-backer that created havoc all over the field as a sideline to sideline playmaker, whose game is very reminiscent of Devin White’s.Embed from Getty Images
Or, you start where all rebuilding teams start, in the trenches. Why not take OT Jalen Mayfield? He was a promising tackle for the Wolverines that allowed 2 sacks and 3 hits over his last 1000 snaps. It has become abundantly clear that 2019 1st rounder Tytus Howard is a flop and like someone who has gambled as much as the Texans have, you’re likely going to have to pawn Laremy Tunsil in order to make ends meet. Who knows, maybe Mayfield is the real deal? Maybe he slides in immediately and is productive from Day-1, which gives you a foundational piece to build around. Especially given how deep this draft is at the position. Guess what, if he doesn’t work out, it’s still a better bet than a QB who is about to be served up like that goat in Jurassic Park.
Michigan WR Nico Collins (Round 3, Pick 89)
Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. And if you think I’m picking on the Texans then you’re right, but it’s not because I’m mean, it’s because they’re stupid. I mean you take a guy who sat out 2020 and never topped 1000 yards in a season? Why? So you can trot him out onto the field to have some guy not named Deshaun Watson throwing him the football? Cool, not like this pick could have been used on anyone else that would have been more of a foundational piece. Not looking good for our Texans draft grade.
In fact, I’m surprised, Nick Caserio came from the Bill Belichick tree, his entire mantra is that in order to have a successful team you need to be able to control the line of scrimmage. How does Nico Collins accomplish this? Let me tell you, he doesn’t. At best, his impact will be felt 2-3 seasons down the line, when the Texans have had a chance to retool and hopefully rid themselves of the drama caused by Watson and Easterby. However, by that point, you’ll have to make a financial decision about Collins, which based on how receivers are being paid, you’re probably not going to want to pay him.
Yup, so instead of grabbing a monster in Ben Cleveland who could have brought some attitude to the Texans “nice guys finish first, but not before Deshaun” mentality. The thought was, hey, let’s take a guy who has no hope of seeing an accurate ball thrown his way because Deshaun is a creep, Tyrod only checks down, and Davis will probably be eaten alive.
Listen, I’m a pretty cynical guy, I was the only baseball fan outside of Cleveland that was actually upset to see the Cubs win the World Series, but even I can’t take much joy in watching what’s going on in Houston. I feel like the fans are in that “shell-shock” fog that Tom Hanks was at the beginning of Saving Private Ryan. Just sitting there saying, but, but, but we had Deshaun and DeAndre and JJ? WHAT DID YOU DO BILL?? WHAT SORT OF SADISTIC CHAIN OF EVENTS DID YOU SET OFF??
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