The reasons behind trading up for Will Fuller

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The Texans pulled off a first on Thursday night: they traded their 1st round pick to move up in the NFL Draft.

They flip-flopped with Washington, getting the 21st overall pick in exchange for the 22nd pick as well as a 6th-rounder in 2017. Notre Dame's Will Fuller was the man at 21, and general manager Rick Smith explained why.

"He was a guy that we felt strongly about," Smith said. "We didn't want to take a chance on not getting him. We were aggressive. We went and made the move."

In 2008, they traded back in the first round and wound up taking left tackle Duane Brown. They moved from 18th to 26th, and picked up 3rd and 6th rounders in the process. 

 

In 2004 after they'd selected cornerback Dunta Robinson with their first round pick, they swapped fifths with Tennessee, and gave up their 2nd, 3rd and 4th-rounders as well to get the Titans' 1st-rounder. The Texans took Jason Babin with that selection at 27th overall.

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly, who said Fuller is a "multi-dimensional" receiver, understood why Smith and the Texans were eager to make the move.

"This will change the speed on offense immediately," Kelly said. "It was not 'Hey, let's wait a couple of years'. It was 'Let's go get this right now' and I think Will will do that for them."

Fuller said the only time he officially met with the Texans was in February at the National Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. He liked that encounter, and said the Houston front office must have too. 

"Everything went well at the Combine and I think they fell in love with me there," Fuller said.

The second round of the Draft begins on Friday night. Below are the Texans' remaining picks.

RD 2: 52nd overall
RD 3: 85th overall
RD 4: 119th overall
RD 5: 159th overall
RD 5: 166th overall (via trade with New England)
RD 6: 195th overall (via trade with New York Jets)

See photos from Will Fuller's career at Notre Dame and Houston Texans.

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