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Join Date: May 2007
Ammo for trading up
I was trying to compile a list of players that the Texans could use as ammunition in a trade up deal with Buffalo
that would ensure them getting one of three guys that could be impact players. I was disappointed by how few options we would actually have. Can you think of others?
In leu of the complete insanity that has become the game formerly known as the greatest sport on earth, let’s talk draft. We’re only 3 days away!
I’ve always been a fan of the Rick Smith draft philosophy. The theoretical one at least. Smith has always been a proponent of building from within. You hold on to the picks you have and remain open and willing to trade down for more picks whenever possible. The more players you can draft, the more talent you should have on your roster. Trading down is also a benefit because you’re moving further and further away from the cost of the top picks. As we all know, the Patriots have 709 second round picks. Second round picks are believed by many to be where the best value can be had. The cost associated with a second round pick along with the talent that comes along with that level of player should out weigh the value of a top pick when you factor in that the team should be adding at least one extra player by trading down. Here are a some of players that the Texans have drafted through extra picks:
Eric Winston (2006 #66)
Steve Slaton (2008 #89)
Anthony Hill (2009 #122)
Darryl Sharpton (2010 #102)
Trindon Holliday (2010 #197)
Another benefit of trading down is that you can obtain extra picks that could be used to trade back up later in the draft to get a player that might be drafted out from under a team without sacrificing too much in the way of future picks. Ben Tate, is an example of a player who was obtained this way.
As we look at the 2011 draft obviously things have to be done differently. With the lockout “lifted” things are still just as much of a mess as they were Monday before Judge Nelson ruled on the Brady case. There’s no clear idea of when or how free agency will happen. The Texans have to use their picks wisely. But Kubiak and Rick Smith’s jobs are on the line. They have already been informed by Bob McNair that they need to sign impact players on defense and get the ship righted on that side of the ball immediately.
Should the Texans choose to take a more aggressive stance this year they could have an opportunity to trade up to get one of three players who could immediately impact the defense. Both, Von Miller and Robert Quinn are thought to be good fits for the Phillips 3-4 and Patrick Peterson is considered one of the best cornerbacks to come out of the draft in a decade. Let’s say Houston would want to trade up with Buffalo at #3, With the Broncos picking at #2 and switching to a 4-3 and the Panthers needing everything at #1, Houston could be in a position to select at least two of the players of their choice at that position.
If Smithiak and Phillips decided they had to have one of those guys, what do they have to offer in order to trade up to grab them? According to the draft value chart, the Texans would have to trade every pick in this draft to move up to 3. In fact, they would still fall 100 points short of “equal value”. Obviously that’s unrealistic so future picks becomes a reasonable way to make a deal. There is a very real possibility that there won’t be a draft next year. Some teams may not be willing to trade for picks that could vanish into thin air next season. What could the Texans offer to Buffalo instead of 2012 picks in order to get there?
At press time, no one has a clue what the hell is going on. NO ONE. Half of the league’s players are planning on showing up to work in the morning and half of them are sleeping in. The clubs can’t lock them out, but they aren’t sure what they can do. To say it’s confusing is an understatement. If they league cannot get a stay in place before thursday, it’s possible that players could become eligible to be traded on draft day.
Let’s take a look at some players that the Texans could offer to Buffalo as added incentive to make a deal happen under the presumption that some form of a league agreed upon system has to be in place due to ruling of Judge Nelson. I’m going to focus on players who the Texans could stand to lose without going down the road to absurdity. These are not to be thought of as “players worth moving up 9 spots” but rather, players that could add to a multi pick deal.
Mario Williams – Everyone’s new favorite player to hate, including John Hallam. Texans fans are fairly divided on the #90 issue including here at TBB. The reality is that he has the most trade value, is in the last year of his contract and some could argue that he is not a fit in the Phillips 3-4. However, if you’re trading away one of your best defensive players (depending on who you ask), what have you gained? Mario is one of the best run defending defensive ends in the NFL. I don’t believe this is realistic and furthermore, I personally believe that Williams could switch into beast mode in a contract year while playing in a proven system with actual direction. the question could certainly be breeched depending on how much the Texans are willing to gamble in an attempt to get things fixed.
Owen Daniels – While he was just signed to a new deal, that doesn’t mean he’s not tradable and his deal is very reasonable. The Texans have the most depth at this position and could conceivably lose the least in this deal.
Ben Tate – Red Shirted with a poorly managed broken fibula, the 2nd round pick from 2010 is expected to be 100% but also slated to be 3rd on the depth chart behind the NFL’s leading rusher and Derrick Ward who averaged 6.3 yards per carry last season. While Tate’s youth makes him a better backup option for the Texans long term, Ward was highly effective spelling Foster and proved he has the ability to make the reads required in the zone scheme.
Amobi Okoye – Highly regarded as a top ten talent when the Texans drafted him, his youth is of value but his production is not. The fact that Okoye is believed to be “out” with a year left on his contract also hurts his trade value since teams will expect him to be cut if the Texans can’t find a trade partner.
(Jacoby Jones*) – Jones would only be an option if the League were to either a) decide before Thursday that they will return to the same rules as 2010 wherein players would need 6 years of service to obtain free agency eligibility, or b) decide before Thursday that some new system will be in place that would somehow allow Houston to retain Jacoby’s rights. If that were to happen (and it’s unlikely given the short notice and generally pissy nature of the parties involved) Jones would actually become the most likely option to be traded. The Texans tendered him with a 2nd round value but as it stands now, players wouldn’t be eligible to be traded anyway. Jones’ speed and potential to be a playmaker could be of value to a team that isn’t concerned with him actually catching the ball. It would also shift wide receiver with deep speed to the number one need on offense.
When I started this list I had hoped to come up with more players that the Texans could “risk” losing but the reality is, the talent level isn’t there defensively and the depth isn’t there offensively. While the offense makes it’s daily bread on guys you can grab on the cheap, it doesn’t make for much value to other teams who don’t have the luxury of system like Houston does. When I look at the defense there are more questions than there are answers. Frankly, the idea of trading up to grab a difference maker sounds frightening because even if Houston has a monster draft, the odds of those players contributing quickly enough to make an actual difference is not very promising.
If the Texans are going to be relevant this season, they aren’t going to find the difference maker for the 2011 season Radio City Music Hall. If the Texans are going to make the playoffs, the person who will turn things around defensively won’t be drafted at #11 or #3 or anywhere in the first round. The difference maker will have to be the pudgy fella they’ve already got. His dad is a football coach from Houston and a Texan fan. If Wade Phillips isn’t the missing piece, there won’t be one for our beloved Houston Texans in 2011, and the only pieces that will matter will be what’s left after the entire organization is blown up.