This offseason and in free agency, Houston Texans general manager Nick Caserio has made over 70 transactions and counting. With the 2021 NFL Draft coming up next week, the Texans will be assessing their newly-assembled roster to finalize their draft preparation.
"Look, it's all tied together," Caserio said. "I think when you look at the team right now, we're at 78, 79 players, so, OK, you can get to 90. So that leaves, call it 10 to 12 spots or 10 to 12 areas, right? If you go beyond that 10 to 12 then it's going to come at the expense of maybe some other player or another position, right? So what you try to do is put the team in place before the draft and you evaluate where you are, make an assessment, OK, and then go through your draft process and look at potentially the players that might be available."
Currently, the Texans have 78 on their roster with the most players in the secondary (15) followed by linebackers and offensive line which each have 13 players. According to Caserio, roster numbers won't eliminate draft needs. He then told a story of drafting running back Damien Harris for New England despite having four players in the position group. Harris, drafted in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft, suffered an injury as a rookie but went on to become the team's leading rusher in 2020.
"You don't want to be dissuaded by doing something just because like you have these X number of players over here," Caserio said. "Just try to pick good players with the right traits that fit your program, what you're trying to do, and if it's at the same position where you think you have some duplication, you have to make that call. Like, that's a choice that you have to make."
The Texans currently have eight picks in the 2021 NFL Draft, beginning in the third round with the 67th overall selection. This year's NFL Draft will take place beginning Thursday, April 29 through Saturday, May 1.