Houston Texans General Manager Nick Caserio addressed the media for his pre-draft press conference Monday morning. With just 10 days remaining until the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft (where the Texans currently hold two picks at No. 2 and No. 12), Caserio spoke on a number of topics. Here are four things we learned:
1. "I'm not leaving." – Leonardo DiCaprio and Nick Caserio.
In his opening statement, Caserio thanked a number of people who worked on this year's draft evaluation process. Before he began taking questions though, Caserio shut down recent false reports that he planned to return to New England after the draft.
"Before we take any questions, quite frankly, I'm almost embarrassed that I have to say anything. Honestly, I feel like Leonardo DiCaprio in 'The Wolf of Wall Street,' but I'm not leaving. There's never really been any substantive discussions of the sort. Grateful and appreciative of the opportunity that my family and I have here in Houston."
Caserio isn't sure how the rumors began, but only caught wind of it last week and said he was "literally laughing."
"My focus is on the draft is on the team, is on the people in this building, is on the coaching staff. My responsibility is to people, to the people that are here."
2. "Open to listening" to trades for No. 2 pick
Will they or won't they trade the second overall draft pick? Caserio confirmed that the Texans have been fielding some calls from teams interested in moving up to the No. 2 spot.
"I think our job and responsibility is to listen in and not rule anything out."
Last year, Houston remained at the third overall draft position after Caserio said the club was open for business when it came to a trade. This year, he's changed the verbiage a bit.
"I think whatever the end result is come Thursday, we'll be prepared to go either way. So if you want to quote me, are we open for business, I would say we're open to listening, so if you want to change the vocabulary a little bit this year. We have received a few calls, and again, I think our responsibility is to listen, try to take the information in, and then just make the right decision."
3. S2 test for QB evaluations
With the NFL phasing out the Wonderlic IQ test, some teams are looking to other predictors of quarterback success. One of those tools is the S2 Cognitive Test.
According to its site, the S2 evaluates nine different cognitive skills: perception speed, search efficiency, tracking capacity, visual learning, distraction control, impulse control, decision complexity, instinctive learning and improvisation.
The Texans don't use the S2 for quarterback evaluations, per Caserio.
"We're aware of it. I think we have some other tools and resources that we utilize. Candidly, I don't want to really speak on something that I don't really have firsthand knowledge. I don't think it's fair to anybody at all. So, I respect the question, but we have other tools and resources that we try to utilize as a part of our process."
4. Chance of not drafting a QB?
The Texans currently have three quarterbacks on their roster: Davis Mills, E.J. Perry and veteran Case Keenum. Perry, claimed off waivers last month, spent the 2022 season on the Jaguars practice squad as a rookie. Keenum, now in his third stint with the Texans, signed with the team in free agency. Mills, entering his third season, has played in 28 games (26 starts) tossing 33 touchdowns and 25 interceptions with an 83.3 passer rating.
So, is it possible the Texans walk away from the draft without selecting a quarterback?
"I mean, anything's possible. I think what's possible and what the hope is, is that we can come out of this draft with good football players that we think can help our football team. That's what we're focused on doing."
In true pre-draft form, Caserio and the Texans aren't giving anything away.
The 2023 NFL Draft takes place April 27-29 in Kansas City.