"Word from the NFL meetings is the Texans are trying hard to deal the first pick in the draft," writes Dan Pompei of Bleacher Report. "They want to move down and acquire extra selections. Sources say they might have a trade partner in the Bills, who appear interested in moving up. It is unclear who the Bills would want in a trade-up scenario. Some believe they would move up for a quarterback. They also could make good use of an offensive tackle such as Greg Robinson. And it would be something to see them pair Mario Williams with either Jadeveon Clowney or Khalil Mack."
Invariably, we hear every spring that the team holding the top pick would like to trade down, but the last time it happened was in 2001, when the Falcons swapped places with the Chargers, moving up from fifth to first, and took quarterback Michael Vick. San Diego drafted LaDainian Tomlinson.
Still, if the Texans don't fall in love with the Big Three -- quarterbacks Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel or Teddy Bridgewater -- and they don't think defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is worth the top selection, it would make sense to move down, stockpile picks, and rebuild a roster that managed just two wins last season.
No way Texans trade with Buffalo to ninth.— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) March 28, 2014
Still, back in January, long before the team traded quarterback Matt Schaub to Oakland, Texans owner Bob McNair hinted that moving down the draft board was a distinct possibility.
"Maybe we'll trade down and still get a quarterback that can do the job and get an outstanding defensive player," McNair said. "It's an exciting time. Everything's a moving target. Lot of different pieces."
Of course, that could have been part of the organizaton's elaborate plan to obfuscate the truth.
Earlier this week, new coach Bill O'Brien conceded that a quarterback is in the team's draft plans, but when exactly they'll take one remains undecided.
"I don't think there's any question that we'll draft a quarterback in the draft," he said. "Where we draft that quarterback, I don't think we know that yet. We're still in the process of studying all of these prospects, and in the process of putting a grade on them and place them where they would be in the draft. And I think that the big thing is it's such a long process."
O'Brien went on to point out that there are capable passers beyond Bortles, Manziel and Bridgewater.
"But there are other guys out there. You've got [AJ] McCarron. You've got [Zach] Mettenberger. You've got Logan Thomas. You've got [Tom] Savage. You've got [Jimmy] Garoppolo. I mean, I can go right down the list. To me, you've got 10 to 12 guys you've got to do a great job of evaluating and make the best pick possible wherever you pick these guys. So I just see a lot of good quarterbacks. All of the guys have potential, which is a dangerous word, and you're trying to make sure you're doing what's best for your organization -- what fits best for your organization when you make that pick of a quarterback."
Obviously, this means the Texans will draft Derek Carr, who was conspicuously absent from O'Brien's list above.