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With the NFL draft less than three weeks away, we have officially entered the goofy season.
This is the time when NFL teams — through their coaches and general managers and leaked whispers to the media — say stoopid stuff. And they expect people with a brain capable of critical thinking to nod our heads and believe what they say.
I recall when Jimmy Johnson, now in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, decided he was not drafting Randy Moss under any circumstances in the 1998 draft. And, sure enough, he didn’t.
But he selected East Carolina receiver Larry Shannon in the third round. Then, in response to withering criticism, Johnson told reporters Shannon would or could be every bit as good as Moss. Maybe better.
Even Hall Of Famers Say Dumb Stuff About Draft
Shannon, a great guy who now coaches high school football in Florida, never caught a pass in the NFL. Moss is in the Hall of Fame.
The goofy stuff doesn’t just come from teams. Sometimes players engage in the practice.
I recall when Craig “Ironhead” Heyward told reporters, “People say I’ll be drafted in the first round, maybe even higher.”
So it comes as no surprise that the 2023 draft is getting its first nibbles of goofy. And those are coming from the Houston Texans and national media discussing the Texans.
Texans coach DeMeco Ryans met with local reporters on Tuesday and, of course, the draft came up. And, of course, what the Texans expect from the player they’re going to select with the No. 2 overall selection came up.
“It’s exciting for us to have the No. 2 pick, but also at the same time, there is no pressure where a young man is picked,” Ryans said. “I think it’s unfair to ask a guy just because you’re picked No. 2 overall, you have to come in and you’re the face of our franchise and you’re the leader. That’s unfair to the guy.
“I’m not going to put that type of weight on the shoulders of whoever that is that we pick. That’s not what we’re anticipating. That’s not what we’re expecting them to do.”
DeMeco Ryans: No Pressure On No. 2 Pick
The NFL draft is slotted so the teams picking earlier pick the best prospects they can. And whether they succeed in that or not, the guys picked earliest are at least expected to be the most capable of turning teams around.
Of putting not just the weight of being picked early on their shoulders but indeed of carrying the franchise in future years.
That’s the logical expectation for the top picks. The entire Earth gets this, with the lone exception of Houston, Texas.
And please understand, this was not a rookie coach merely misspeaking. Ryans, who is truly a smart dude, really believes this stuff. And repeated it.
“I let them know from the start there is no pressure,” he said of his draft picks. “That’s it. I’m not putting pressure on a guy to come in and just because where you’re picked in the draft, it’s unfair to say that a guy is the leader of an organization and he hasn’t played one snap for our team.”
So there you have it: The Texans will pick a quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick of the draft and tell him there’s no pressure or reasonable expectation for him to be a leader or the face of the franchise soon.
National Media Unconvinced Texas Go QB
Now let’s address that top pick for the Texans because, remember, goofy season.
Ryans would not commit to picking one player over another. That makes sense. It’s an internal team decision and everyone will know what it is soon enough.
But that pick has to be a quarterback if the Texans don’t trade out.
It must be a quarterback if the Texans aren’t goofy.
We know this because the quarterback spot is the most valuable on any NFL roster. So teams value the highest picks in the draft most because it allows them to select the best quarterback prospect available.
But multiple national media reporters are now using their platforms to suggest goofy stuff.
Adam Schefter went on ESPN Tuesday afternoon and said he wasn’t convinced the Texans would select a quarterback at No. 2.
“I don’t think it’s a lock that Houston is going quarterback at No. 2,” Schefter said.
Then when he got off air and turned himself in to ESPN company doctors for drug testing.
Texans Not Picking C.J. Stroud or Bryce Young?
No, seriously … Schefter is the best information man in the business. But he wasn’t reporting this. He wasn’t saying he’s heard the Texans have lost their minds. He was speculating. Thinking out loud, it seemed.
And taken to its logical conclusion, Schefter was saying the same Texans who need a franchise quarterback because the sheen on Davis Mills has tarnished, and because backup Case Keenum isn’t going to save the franchise, will decide another position is more valuable to immediately upgrade.
The Texans will instead take a pass rusher. Or another defensive back. Or any player that doesn’t determine the fortunes of the franchise like a quarterback can and does.
This is truly goofy stuff. It’s not real. It’s as if men were to some day start telling us they’re women.
It should be noted the Texans do have two first-round picks (No. 2 and No. 12 overall). And Texans general manager Nick Caserio could conceivably use the second of his picks on a quarterback instead of the first.
That would mean he’s bypassing a superior quarterback prospect for an inferior one who may or may not be available at No. 12. So, goofy.
A Texans Trade Down Is A Bad Gamble
Caserio could also trade down from No. 2 and pick up a couple of first-round picks and other draft trinkets.
Maybe Caserio values Anthony Richardson or Hendon Hooker or maybe Will Levis as much as he does either Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud.
But let’s understand what that actually means. It means the Texans think inferior prospects will eventually be better quarterbacks than higher-rated prospects with better college game film.
Granted, it wouldn’t be the first time that happens. But those are exceptions rather than the rule. On a percentage basis, the quarterbacks picked higher in the first round are better than the others.
Now, the opposite of that is a narrative around this draft. That, and the Texans not expecting the player they pick in the first round to lead the team and be a face of the franchise.
Yes, it’s goofy season.
One CommentLeave a Reply
If you can’t get Bryce Young trade down for picks next year and suck for the better QBs in next year draft. Since when has Ohio State QB translated to the NFL?