One of the greatest things about draft time is that it gets the fanbase really excited at the thought of "their guy" being the next Texan.
Usually around this time of year, we have our dream scenario mapped out about who will fall to Houston as their usual Top-10 pick. But this year, sitting at pick No. 26, things are a little different. You can still get a year one starter at that selection, but for a guy to build your franchise around, the chances are quite slim. But it could happen.
But the way you build a football team is what you do in those later rounds. Your first round selection is almost always going to be a contributor. But those mid to later round guys can either be a steal or out of the league within a couple of years. So they matter all the more to a team like Houston, who is looking to add some depth.
But how can the Texans acquire some of their best-case scenario prospects through this draft? Do you just stand pat and wait to see who falls to you each pick? Houston has never really been a team known for trading up in the draft due to having so many glaring holes to fill. But with this team looking pretty deep headed into 2012, could this be the year that they take that risk finally? Let's take a peek at a couple of separate scenarios that have been bouncing through my head.
Trade up to 18 to select WR Michael Floyd
With a top talent like Michael Floyd dropping in the draft, Houston would have to be considering the option of adding him opposite Andre Johnson and grooming him to be the heir to Johnson's throne. Regardless of his knuckleheaded decisions in college, his talent is worth the risk to move up eight spots. By swapping firsts with San Diego and surrendering a third rounder, they're able to jump over Chicago who has Floyd in their sights.
Trade up in the 2nd to select NT Alameda Ta'amu
I've already been over my undeniable desire for the team to select a fat, space-eating nose tackle. But with the Steelers picking two spots ahead of Houston in the second round and looking to replace the old and likely cap casualty that is Casey Hampton, Houston surrenders their fourth to Atlanta to leapfrog Pittsburgh and pick Ta'amu, who they were reported to have spoken to several times at the Senior Bowl.
Ryan Broyles is available in the 3rd round
Sometimes, you just have to stand pat. And in a draft that is this deep in wide receivers, there is going to be some quality on the board in the third. But if Sooners star Ryan Broyles is still available and checks out medically, he solves two solutions. Houston needs a slot receiver with the ability that Broyles has, and he can return punts, allowing the team to sever ties with Kevin Walter and Jacoby Jones and clear up cap space to bring back some free agents. Remember, if Broyles doesn't tear his ACL, he is considered first-round talent. He would be a steal here.
Trade down in the 4th, select OT Nate Potter
It's no secret that the Texans will be looking to shore up some offensive line depth in this draft. It's also well known that Houston likes to try and trade back to pick up an extra pick around the middle rounds. If they're wheeling and dealing in the early rounds like I've suggested, look for them to get a pick or two back here. And when Boise State tackle Nate Potter slides to them unexpectedly, fans will be elated.
Trade down in every other round
Obviously, they wouldn't be able to trade down in all of the remaining rounds, but they should certainly try. Even if it is for picks in 2013, the team is deep enough to do it this way and try their luck at some undrafted free agents.
There are several other scenarios in the first that are drool-worthy, such as Alshon Jeffery falling to them in the first or someone offering a first and a late second for the 26th pick. Let's not forget about Wisconsin center Peter Konz possibly being available as a fallback option, should the team be unable to bring back Chris Myers. The possibilities are limitless and while I'm always a fan of trading down, I know it isn't a popular decision among most. But like I said earlier, this is the first time I see the real possibility of the team jumping up in the early rounds due to their superior depth. I don't see a Julio Jones type trade, no. But to move up 6-8 spots is easily within the realm of possibility. As is trading a player on the current roster for a pick. Anything can happen on draft day—and it usually does.