Houston Texans Blog: First-round picks and draft capital accelerate Houston Texans’ direction

HOUSTON — Nick Caserio prepares for his second draft in his role as general manager of the Houston Oilers. Houston TexansHis weekend will be very different from it was a year ago.

In 2021, Caserio didn’t have a first- or second-round pick to work with, both gone after former GM and coach Bill O’Brien sent them to the Miami DolphinsIn the trade for left tackle Laremy Tunsil.

Five picks were in the top 80, seven in the top 108. Houston only made two picks in top 108 the last two drafts. Houston finished the draft with five picks. The Texans have 11 draft picks and two in the first round of the 2022 draft. 3 and 13. 13).

Houston’s increased draft capital is because Caserio traded quarterback Deshaun WatsonThe Cleveland BrownsIn return for the Pro Bowl quarterback, you will receive three first-round picks ('23, '23, and '24).

Last season, the Texans were in a tight spot. Watson was on the 53-man roster for all of last year, even though he was a healthy scratch. It was a roster lacking young star players because the organization hasn’t had those draft picks to work with. Now, Caserio has the tools to build this Texans roster the way he wants to, and he’s taking ownership of that.

“Ultimately, I’m going to have to make the decision [of who to draft], but it’s going to be done in concert with the group of people,” Caserio said. “Ultimately, if the player works, [coach] Lovie [Smith]You will get the credit. If he doesn’t, you guys can blame me.”

Caserio, who is going into the second year of the six-year contract he signed in January 2021, has been shown a lot of support by Texans chairman & CEO Cal McNair. It's possible that Caserio will have a lot more leeway than he needs to rebuild a franchise which was struggling when he first started, but the GM knows he must take advantage of what resources he does have to transform this team.

Although the Texans are coming off back-to-back four-win seasons and turned over a significant portion of their roster last offseason, Caserio was quick to not use the word “rebuild” when describing the franchise, saying that term is more of an “external term” used to describe the team and its roster.

Caserio has shown through his actions that he cares. more than rebuildingBy signing large receivers Brandin CooksYou can also visit our website at two-year contract extensionTunsil's base salary was converted into a signing bonus, which effectively ties him with the organization for the remainder of his contract.

One thing Caserio stressed in his pre-draft news conference was the idea that he’s not just building the 2022 team, but that part of his job is also to “worry about the long-term position of the franchise and try to put ourselves in the best position possible.”

“It’s, try to get good players that are good people that understand we’re building a program, and we are building the 2022 team,” Caserio said. “That’s really where the focus is.”

Last year, Caserio said the Texans were able to eliminate a portion of the board because they knew they’d be unlikely to still be available when Houston was picking at No. 67. This year, Caserio stated there are “roughly 80-100 players that we would actually draft.”

Caserio said he doesn’t expect many teams to be interested in trading up to No. 3 but there may be more conversation with No. 13.

According to Over the Cap., the Texans have more than $24million in salary cap space. That's third in the NFL. Caserio said because of the Texans’ draft capital and salary cap situation, Houston is “in a much better position today than we were a year ago.” Still, the general manager knows it doesn’t matter how many resources you have if you don’t use them properly.

“The most important thing is making good decisions with those resources,” Caserio said. “You can't make bad decisions. You can have 500 draft picks, but if you don’t use those picks appropriately, then it’s not going to work.”

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