Nick Caserio and the Texans are interviewing NFL Draft hopefuls on a nightly basis this week at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. It's an incredibly important exercise for both the players and the team, and during a Tuesday press conference, the Texans general manger described what he wants to accomplish during these get-togethers.
"The way we're set up is try to steer it towards football as much as possible, so let them kind of teach us what they know because everybody's baseline of understanding what they were asked to do is different," Caserio said.
Each day, the players are going through medical exams, and most are taking part in physical drills like the 40-yard dash, shuttle runs, and the bench press, to name a few. Gleaning intel on how a player is able to process information can be valuable for NFL teams, and Caserio explained how everything during the interview process must be taken with the proverbial 'grain of salt'.
"What one receiver is asked to do at one place is different than another receiver and when you're just watching them play, you don't really have an understanding of what they're asked to do," Caserio said. "You just try to ascertain some of that information, try to get a baseline of understanding. The reality is the baseline of where they're starting when they walk in our building is pretty low, so then it's going to be a matter of how quickly are they going to be able to make progress and learn. Everybody has different stages of learning that they're going to go through."
Most importantly, Caserio emphasized the Combine interview isn't a 'make or break' situation for a prospect. It's merely one part of the information-gathering process.
"You really don't want to jump to judgment too quickly about a 20-minute conversation and say we're going to eliminate him, he made a bad impression," Caserio said. "Okay, let's do a deeper dive, maybe there's something that we have to find out a little bit more as we go. But I'd say some of the intangible elements and what we look for in players in terms of what we want in the building on a day-to-day basis, those are the things that are going to be important to us."
The interviews and evaluation continue this week through the weekend in Indianapolis.
On Thursday, April 28 in Las Vegas, the 2022 NFL Draft begins. Houston has nine total picks, and the first one is currently the third overall selection.