Texans are either doubling down on low draft picks, or know a bigger haul is coming

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Mark Lane
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When Nick Caserio took the Houston Texans general manager job, he didn’t have any salary cap space and was missing a pick in Round 1 and Round 2 of the 2021 NFL draft.

Good luck fixing that 4-12 record.

Looking at the Texans’ draft picks for 2021, they only have one pick in the top-100: Round 3. Round 4 is usually the demarcation point where picks start to bottom out and the difference between drafted and undrafted is negligible. In order to effectively rebuild, a team needs to pick in the top-100 as many times as possible.

In free agency, the Texans have acquired 22 both by signings and trades. Did Caserio do this because he knew the club didn’t have quality draft picks, and so he wanted to bolster the roster with guys with experience?

If the NFL draft were held today, underneath the gray skies of Cleveland with a mixture of masked-up fans, media, prospects, here is where the Texans would be picking:

Round 3 (No. 67)

Round 4 (No. 109)

Round 5 (No. 147)

Round 5 (No. 158 — from Patriots)

Round 6 (No. 195 — from Cowboys via Patriots)

Round 6 (No. 203 — from Washington via Raiders, Dolphins)

Round 6 (No. 212 — from Saints)

Round 7 (No. 233 — from Bengals)

With that haul of sixth-round picks, the Texans can find depth players, but probably not any long-term starters. More than likely, the will use them to package and move up to take guys they like in the fourth and fifth rounds. Or, Houston can use them to move down and own the seventh round.

Nevertheless, the lack of top-100 draft picks is a glaring hole, and one that Caserio can’t be ignorant of. Does the void still remain because he intends to address it with a blockbuster trade? The only way Houston can shorten the rebuild time between the uncertainty with Deshaun Watson’s future and the next quarterback is to acquire picks in the top-100.