It certainly seems that the Houston Texans plans at QB revolved around acquiring Tony Romo. After Romo retired this week, Houston is left seeking a starting QB once again in the Bill O’Brien era.
When the Texans dumped Brock Osweiler and a 2nd round pick on Cleveland’s doorstep, they took a massive gamble. The only signal callers on the roster are Tom Savage and Brandon Weeden. Their defense is in their prime and the window for championship glory is closing with each year. Free agent options are highlighted by Jay Cutler and Colin Kaepernick – neither seems to be very attractive to the Texans.
What do they do? They could stand still with the 25th pick in the draft and hope that a rookie QB of their choice falls to them. Alternatively, Rick Smith and the Texans management could call an old colleague: Mike Maccagnan.
The Jets are seemingly looking to move out of the six spot. Reports state that the Jets are interested in almost EVERY quarterback in this draft – but intuition says that is a smokescreen. Additionally, the Jets are pivoting their pre-draft evaluations to late first-round/ early second-round prospects.
Due diligence is normal in the first round, however the Jets seem to be preparing for a possible move down. Keep in mind that Maccagnan does want to acquire more draft picks based on statements from the combine.
It stands to reason as Bowles and Maccagnan want to accelerate their rebuild.
Trading up would be costly for Houston based on the old draft trade value chart. A move from 25 to 6 would cost 880 points. That is the equivalent of a mid first round pick. With Houston lacking a 2018 second round pick, this would require some creativity. Also, would Houston begin to feel a bit desperate if a QB prospect is taken in the top 5? Once the first QB goes, a run will likely follow.
What would make a trade worthwhile for the Jets? How much would Houston be willing to trade? Houston’s first three picks – 25, 57 & 89 are worth 1145 points (25 = 720 points, 57 = 330 points, 89 = 145 points), so that likely won’t get it done. What might make sense is that Maccagnan may take more middle round choices. Under that scenario, say Houston trades their 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th rounders this year (950 points) plus their 2018 1st rounder in return the Jets swap the 6th pick, a 2017 4th rounder and a 2018 3rd rounder.
Lets assume the 2018 first round pick is middle of the pack – the 16th pick, that is worth 1,000 points. A total of 1950 points. The Jets first rounder this year is worth 1600, the 5th 32 points and assume the 2018 third would be at the top of the round, it would be worth 265 points – a total of 1899.
An alternative to the Jets trading away their future 3rd (or 5th this season) – could Houston be interested in acquiring a #2 receiver in Eric Decker? The Texans have drafted Jaelen Strong, Braxton Miller and Will Fuller to pair with DeAndre Hopkins the past two seasons. Thus far, Fuller shows the most promise. with $30 million in cap space, the Texans can easily fit Decker’s $7.25 million salary under their cap. Their bigger concern would be his recovery from hip and shoulder surgeries. If he fully recovers, Houston would have a talented receiving core to surround a young signal caller.
This is definitely an elaborate set of scenarios. It is certainly not implausible though. Jobs are on the line in Houston as their Championship window closes. Desperation in the NFL plays to elaborate scenarios. If Houston decides a quarterback prospect in this draft is their solution, look for the Jets to be a natural trade partner.