June 29, 2022

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Texans’ GM Nick Caserio could be wheeling and dealing during NFL Draft

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The Texans are a week away from opening the NFL Draft with two of the first 13 picks. Nick Caserio thinks he’ll be picking at No. 3, but the Texans general manager seemed less certain about using the 13th overall selection.

“The reality is there probably will be very few teams that will want to come up to 3, that’s just being honest. That’s OK. So probably pick at 3 and then at 13, could we go up, could we go down?,” Caserio said during a Thursday afternoon press conference. “I’d say over the next week, you’re going to talk to different teams just more about positioning, about what’s their philosophy? What’s their willingness to kind of move? … I think it’s important just to be open-minded and be flexible.”

After the press conference, Caserio took questions from fans on the team web site, and reiterated his thoughts when asked straight-up who he was going to pick at No. 3.


“Assuming we pick there, which I think there’s a good chance we’re going to …,” Caserio said without offering any insight on particular players he’s considering.

This year’s draft is a bit unique because the Texans are far from certain which players are going to be available for them at No. 3. There have been no indications as to what the Jaguars will do with the first pick and even less so with the Lions at No. 2. In the past week, most mock drafts have settled on the top two picks being, in no particular order, edge rushers Aidan Hutchinson from Michigan and Travon Walker from Georgia.

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That would leave the Texans having their pick between the best offensive tackles in the draft – North Carolina State’s Ickey Ekwonu and Alabama’s Evan Neal – edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux from Oregon or Cincinnati cornerback Sauce Gardner.

Caserio didn’t mention specific players but talked about working with his staff to come up with a grouping of players they want to land with those first two picks and being “flexible, open-minded, adaptable.” Included in that mindset is being willing to make a trade to make sure you get the guy you want, something with which Caserio said head coach Lovie Smith agrees.

“The better you understand the players and the better you understand the positioning of the board, it just gives you more opportunity to make good decisions and if you feel like it makes sense to move maybe one direction or the other,” Caserio said. “If you have a cluster of six players and you’d like to get two of them, maybe you have to move one way or another in order to ensure you get one of those players. If that’s the best thing for our team, then we’ll have that discussion and dialogue.”

Whether or not the Texans make a trade on the first day of the draft, which is next Thursday, it sounds like they will be active throughout the three-day event. Currently, the Texans have seven of the draft’s first 108 picks.

“That’s assuming nothing changes, which I wouldn’t hold my breath on that,” Caserio said.

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