How will the Texans evaluate college players who opted out?

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Mark Lane
·2 min read
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2020 introduced a new concept to college and pro sports: the opt out.

As players didn’t want to deal with the complications the COVID-19 pandemic wrought, the choice to not play in 2020 was presented, and some college players were able to exercise the opt out even in the middle of the regular season.

Houston Texans general manager Nick Caserio told Texans Radio play-by-play voice Marc Vandermeer and sideline reporter John Harris how the team would evaluate players who opted out of the 2020 season.

“You just have to go off of whatever information that you have and just make the best assessment,” Caserio said. “So, the players that opted out just have less, I would say, playing experience recently. So, do you penalize them for that, or if they made an individual decision, do you penalize and use it as a negative mark against, well, like, he wasn’t there for his teammates or just something like that? Which sometimes there’s some of those statements. Again, case by case, look at the player, look at the information. You hopefully have 2019 that you can evaluate and then you can benchmark it against 2020 and maybe you don’t.”

Playing ball in 2020 doesn’t always present a complete evaluation either. As Caserio noted, some teams, such as those in the Southeastern Conference, played 10 games. Meanwhile the Big Ten played seven games. In the case of quarterback prospect Trey Lance of North Dakota State, teams will have one game from 2020 to go off of.

“It’s not apples to apples,” Caserio said. “So, you just look at those situations, and, again, you’re just trying to make as good of assessment as possible. Look, we can’t make up the information. So, you can only go off of what you have. So, you just take what you have, or maybe it’s a little bit less than what you might have for somebody else, but that’s okay.

“It shouldn’t necessarily factor too much into your ultimate decision. But, again, it just makes it a little bit more challenging. You just try to — they just have less — you have less to go off of in those particular situations. That’s all.”

What the Texans are looking for more than good tape is a culture fit as the club is amid a rebuild after a horrendous 2020 season and franchise instability at quarterback.