All the talk surrounding the Texans and the 2007 draft seems to be centered around the team possibly trading down in the first round and acquiring more draft picks. Even general manager Rick Smith mentioned that option in his pre-draft press conference on Wednesday.
But for that to happen, not only do certain big-name players need to remain on the board at No. 10 to attract other teams' interest, but the Texans have to believe that another player they covet will be available at whichever spot they move down to in the first round (or beyond). An interesting wrinkle in the scenario could be if Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson is still available when the Texans pick at No. 10, which appears to be more and more likely particularly after news today that Peterson's shoulder was injured in the Fiesta Bowl that Oklahoma lost to Boise State.
If Peterson were to be there at No. 10, chances are the Texans' decision on whether or not to draft the highly touted runner would hinge on the team's medical evaluation of him at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. Would Texans fans want Peterson given his history of injuries and how much tread he has on his tires? Or would Peterson's production outweigh that risk? Would the Texans be reticent to draft a running back with some injury concerns after having witnessed Domanick Williams' career derailed by knee problems? Only time will tell.
A lot of mock drafts have the Texans picking a cornerback (either Pittsburgh's Darrelle Revis or Michigan's Leon Hall) in the first round. Others have the Texans choosing Penn State tackle Levi Brown or LSU safety LaRon Landry.
But one of the Texans' biggest needs is at wide receiver, where the departure of Eric Moulds has created a void that could be filled by Kevin Walter. That being said, more depth at receiver wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing. Unfortunately, the drop off between Georgia Tech's Calvin Johnson, the consensus top receiver in the draft, and the rest of the receivers (USC's Dwayne Jarrett, LSU's Dwayne Bowe and Tennessee's Robert Meachem) is steep. If you're convinved that the Texans' greatest need is at wide receiver, then you probably believe that the Texans will either trade up or down. But keep in mind that Smith is wary of drafting to fill a need rather than selecting the best player available.
According to this article on SI.com, Detroit Lions head coach Rod Marinelli said: "What you don't want to do is fill a need with a guy that's not as good -- that doesn't make sense. You also don't like to start stacking players, one behind the other. That doesn't make sense to me.
"Where you get a first-round pick and he doesn't play this year, that's not smart either, in my opinion."
Ideally, the best player available when a team picks also fills a need position. When that isn't the case, though, teams have some interesting decisions to make.
But that's what makes the draft fun to watch, isn't it?
Fortunately ,the Texans can stand to add depth at several positions, so the chances that the best player available at No. 10 is a quarterback (one of the positions that the Texans are stacked at) are relatively slim. At almost any other position - secondary, wide receiver, offensive line, linebackers, defensive line - the Texans could use some more bodies.
Stay tuned to see how everything unfolds. We'll have exclusive live video coverage of every Texans press conference this weekend, as well as stories, photos, transcriptions and other information related to the Texans' 2007 draft.