Texans ready to comb through priority free agents after the draft ends

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April 30 will be a hectic day for the Houston Texans.

Not only will it be the final day of the 2022 NFL draft — Rounds 4-7 — but it will also be the first day the Texans are able to sign priority free agents, players who weren’t taken in the draft at all.

For general manager Nick Caserio and the personnel department, part of the prep work on the presumptive priority free agents has already begun.

“You really want to try to establish a little bit of a relationship or a rapport with the player so that first time that you reach out to the player isn’t after the draft or on Saturday,” Caserio said. “Look, the reality is there are only so many players that are going to get drafted, 200 and however many slots there are, there’s more players than that in the draft. There’s a number of players who aren’t going to get drafted and there’s going to end up being some pretty good players who for whatever reason don’t get drafted.”

While the Texans do have six picks in the top-110 and a total of 10 for the draft, Caserio isn’t too hung up on where players were taken — he simply wants to collect players who can help the Texans.

“I would say just philosophically, we don’t really care where they come from. If the undrafted player is better than the third-round pick, so be it,” said Caserio. “Obviously, something happened with the third-round pick that didn’t work, but if that player is better than the other player, that’s the way it goes. You can’t be afraid of that.”

An example Caserio used was running back Austin Ekeler and how he took over Melvin Gordon’s feature back position with the Los Angeles Chargers.

Said Caserio: “Ekeler’s a good player, he wasn’t drafted, but he’s been one of the better multi-purpose backs in the league. How does that happen? I don’t know, maybe somebody smarter than me knows that answer but I certainly don’t have one.”

Houston is hopeful they can find another player like Ekeler among the priority free agents on April 30, but first, it takes developing a rapport with the players who may fall out of the draft.