The Texans traded back in the first round with the Baltimore Ravens and also picked up two extra draft picks in the third round and sixth round, respectively.
The Texans' War Room at Reliant Stadium was buzzing Saturday afternoon thanks to a risky trade that turned out to be quite rewarding.
The Texans traded their No. 18 overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft to the Baltimore Ravens in exchange for the No. 26 overall pick in the first round, as well as the Ravens' third-round pick (No. 89 overall) and the Ravens' sixth-round pick (No. 173 overall) in this year's draft.
General manager Rick Smith was relieved to pick the player he originally wanted, Virginia Tech tackle Duane Brown, a few choices later in the draft and add a few more picks in the process.
"Actually, we feel really good about (the trade)," Smith said. "As a young football team trying to build, any time you can move back and acquire draft picks...we felt great about that.
"We feel like it was a productive first round. It's just the beginning, and we are excited about the rest of the weekend."
This is the ninth draft-day trade that the Texans have made in franchise history. The only year that the Texans have not made a draft-day trade was in 2006.
This year's swap created some anxiety among the Texans' coaches and scouts, but Smith remained calm.
"We were worried (Brown wouldn't be there at No. 26)," Smith said. "I think I tried to be the calm in the storm because I had a room full of people who were scared to death that we were not going to get him. So I had to put on a good face."
The Seattle Seahawks, who held the No. 28 overall pick, called about trading up for the Texans' No. 26 overall pick, but Smith respectfully declined their offer.
"I don't think (Kubiak) could have handled that," Smith said smiling. "By the time we made the pick, (Kubiak) was in the back of the room."
"I actually heard the phone ring with about a minute left," Kubiak said, "and I screamed down, 'Don't answer it!'"
The Ravens had inquired with the Texans a few picks before the trade was executed. The offer was too good to pass up and ultimately Smith's gamble paid off.
"Once you are three or four picks away (from drafting), if you are at all interested in moving, then you make those calls to say, 'Hey, listen, if you've got a guy at 18 then we'll be interested in moving back if we can,'" Smith said. "We had been in contact with Baltimore over the course of the afternoon. So it wasn't something that was last minute."
Texans owner Bob McNair was pleased that Brown still was available.
"Well, that was terrific," McNair said. "And I've got to tell you, I was just holding my breath because I think we traded down eight spots, wasn't it? From 18 down to 26, and we had talked about it and said, 'Well, if we trade down two or three, maybe four, (we're) not as worried about that. Start talking about five, that's getting kind of edgy and then we go beyond that, we go down eight.'
"So I think that's an indication that Rick (Smith) really had his finger on what the other clubs were looking for in terms of personnel and what they were going to be doing and he felt very confident that we were going to be alright because (Duane) Brown was the person that we wanted at that point. So we could've taken him then and not gotten another third-round pick and a sixth-round pick."