4 takeaways from Texans GM Nick Caserio and his NFL combine press conference
The NFL combine represents an opportunity for all 32 teams to get their hands on available draft prospects.
It also represents a chance for teams to meet with the media and provide an update as to the direction of the franchise with free agency two weeks away and the draft two months away.
Houston Texans general manager Nick Caserio met with the media on Feb. 28 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis to give an update on the team. It was the first time Caserio had spoken to the media since Feb. 2, which was the introductory presser for new coach DeMeco Ryans.
Here are four takeaways from Caserio’s time at the podium.
1. Focus is building a good team
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The Texans have talent deficiencies across the roster, which, to the layman’s eye, indicates they should prioritize certain picks to address specific positions with pick value commensurate with roster need.
However, Caserio says the Texans are taking a different approach to their 12 draft picks.
“Again, philosophically, DeMeco and I feel it’s not about one player,” Caserio said. “It’s not about one position. It’s about building a good team, and if you have a good team, that allows you to go out there on Sunday and have some success. So, that’s what our focus is going to be.”
2. DeMeco Ryans "is who he is"
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Not that it would surprise anyone, but Ryans has continued with the same attitude and approach towards building the 2023 Texans as he did when he interviewed for the job.
“Everything that I think I heard or knew about him beforehand has come to fruition and he is who he is, so, I think that’s the one thing you want to see,” Caserio said. “Like, the things you experience during the interview process, then you’re actually able to see him up close and personal, and it kind of matches. So, it’s been great. The honeymoon period is probably over here a little bit. We got some work to do, but it’s been a lot of fun to come into the office.”
3. Texans are numeric based, not round based, in draft evaluation
GM Nick Caserio — Courtesy: Houston Texans
Caserio revealed a little about how the Texans evaluate prospects, giving a little insight as to how the organization will process the NFL combine.
“Once we can kind of put a player to bed, we’re of the thought process, ‘Okay, let’s move on from the player. We know what that player is. Let’s focus on the next group,'” said Caserio. “And we have certain players graded at certain levels, kind of that — we’re not a round-based team. We’re kind of numerically based where we grade a player for their role. So, there is a role commensurate with their value. So, we try to identify the line of demarcation — draft, not drafted — but that grouping of players, really between now and probably the draft, between the next two months, that’s probably where we are going to put as much time and resources into that group.”
4. Focused on the Texans, not who the Bears trade with
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Much has been made about how the Texans are picking No. 2 overall and the Chicago Bears could deal the No. 1 overall pick to a quarterback-needy team that would leap Houston and take the best signal caller off the board. However, Caserio wouldn’t get into hypotheticals about the Bears trading the top pick.
“I think we’re focused on the Texans,” Caserio said. “We’re not focused on what other teams around us are doing. You’re cognizant of that, but ultimately you have to be prepared to pick wherever you’re going to pick, and be prepared to pick whatever player.”
Caserio did lend insight as to how the Texans might use their No. 2 pick if a player they wanted was not available.
“So, I would say most teams — again, not to generalize here — but ultimately where they pick, you probably have three or four guys that you would feel comfortable taking,” Caserio said. “So, if a team is in front of you and you’re only talking about one player, well, it’s going to leave two or three other players. So, you’re either comfortable with that group of players or you’re not.”