Communication is key.
At the Combine, a prospect's medical results are vital. Performance in the 40-yard dash, agility drills and on the bench press is important is well. But Nick Caserio recently described one of the Combine experiences he values most: face time with underclassmen.
In just over a week, the Combine begins in Indianapolis, and the Texans General Manager will be there with dozens of others from Houston's football operations side. They'll pay very close attention to the medical results of the NFL Draft hopefuls, observe the on-field drills and gather as much information as possible.
But getting an "overall impression" of the underclassmen, almost all of whom were unable to practice and play in any of the postseason college all-star games like the Senior Bowl and the Shrine Bowl, is incredibly valuable.
"You really haven't had an opportunity to interact with them anywhere else," Caserio said in a recent Texans Radio interview. "It's a first opportunity to sit and have a conversation like this."
All NFL teams are limited in the time they have with players at the Combine. At the ensuing Pro Days and in-stadium visits in March and April, the teams will have a little bit more of a chance to interact with those prospects. With that in mind, Caserio explained what they do when they meet with a player in Indianapolis.
"Our approach is to make it more conversational with the player," Caserio said. "Not have them walk in a room with 50 people and a camera. You want to just have a conversation. It's not necessarily background related. It's more football related."
This initial get-together features fairly broad questions by Caserio and company.
"Kind of 'How did you arrive at this point?,'" Caserio said. "Maybe 'What are some of the things that you did from a football standpoint?' Understanding that there's going to be more follow-up work we're going to have to do on a majority of the players that we even visit with there."
Caserio, new Head Coach DeMeco Ryans and the Texans currently own 11 picks in the NFL Draft, which begins Thursday, April 27.
The Combine starts on Tuesday, February 28 and concludes Monday March 6.