Texans To Give Up Top Pick?


By Sara Jane Harris

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) -- According to general manager Rick Smith, the Houston Texans are open to giving up their No. 1 overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Smith addressed the Houston media Thursday at Reliant Stadium to discuss the upcoming draft.

Smith said he knows who he would select with the first pick but reminded everyone that he is open to the idea of trading.

Notes from Smith's press conference:

-- (On who the Texans will select with the No. 1 pick) “I don’t exactly who we will take. What I do know is that I know the order of our board. I know that if we select first, it’s a unique opportunity obviously to be the first pick. If we do select there, I know who we feel good about there. If we move, then obviously there are variables that come into play at that point. While I don’t know exactly who we’re taking, I think that we’ve done a nice job of valuing the board and we know how they fall.”

-- (On if they stay with the first selection, if they know who they want) “It’s fascinating to me that this is such an intricate question. What I’m saying is we have valued and ranked our board. If we take the first pick, we know who we want. What I’m saying is I don’t know. We are obviously open to moving out of the first pick, if in fact there is an opportunity for us to do so and if we think that is in the best interest of the organization. That’s what I’m saying if that provides any clarity.”

-- (On if he likes having the first pick and all the pressure that comes with it) “Here is the thing that I see. It’s an opportunity for us to get better. I’ve said this as the process has played itself out, we not only have the first pick—everybody is really centered and focused on the first pick of the draft and understandably so, but what we understand is that it’s not just that first pick. It’s the opportunity to take the first player in each round. It’s also the opportunity to reset your board for three days because of the format of the draft, and so you have a chance to pick the best player on the board three different times. If there is an opportunity to move, it’s a chance to acquire more picks and increase your value. It’s a unique situation. It was very painful to get here, but now that we have lived it for a while and prepared this way, it’s a very, very advantageous place to be because it gives us a chance to really impact our football team.”

-- (On if he knows what it will take for him to trade the No. 1 pick in terms of received compensation) “That’s the other thing that you do. At this point, what happens over the next week or so, is you’re running those types of scenarios and those valuations as well as trying to asses as best you can what you think will happen during the course of the draft, which in turn kind of helps you determine how far you may want to move, if you want to move. Other players that you’re interested in and where they might fall or where they might be picked. All these things that you do in anticipation of whatever move you may make, whether you stay there and take the player there, or if you move back. Those are the things and the discussions that we will be partaking of over the next couple of days. “

-- (On if he’s determined how far he would trade down with the No. 1 pick) “No, I have not determined much of anything yet. There’s a bunch of options out here for us and what I can tell you is that we’re going to do everything to get this team as good as we can get it and increase the talent on this football team as best we can through next weekend.” 

-- (On what kind of interest he’s you had from around the league on trading for the No. 1 overall pick) “What I try to do, is we try to have a bit of a bunker mentality when we’re working through the process to eliminate any type of outside influences, so it’s at this point where I’m kind of coming out of the hole to look and see what other people are saying and starting to make some of those phone calls and starting to call around, just like I do every year to show my colleagues across the league know that we’re interested in anything that’s going to help our football team improve. I’m starting those conversations now and certainly will keep those private but that’s no different than any year. We are always talking and making sure people know that we’re open to any opportunity that’s available for us to improve our team.”

-- (On if he’s gotten to the point in talking specifics of a trade in his discussions) “I am not going to tell you anything about any of the conversations that I’ve had, nor will I tell you who I’ve talked to. I’m going to keep those conversations private.”

-- (On if the discussions about trading the first overall pick have been serious) “I’m not going to talk about the nature of the conversations.”

-- (On if he sees a situation where the team won’t go on the clock or that the team will use the full 10 minutes to make the pick) “If there’s a situation where we feel like this is something that we are absolutely sure we want to do, then you will execute. I tend to believe that you probably want to give yourself as many opportunities or as much time as you have to exhaust yourself of your options. It seems to me that we will take all of that time to do that.”

For video of the press conference, click here.


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