Friday, April 28, 2006

The Houston Texans Select...

Mario Williams

In a move that few people anticipated, the Texans have signed a contract with Mario Williams, and will select him first overall in tomorrow's NFL entry draft. Perhaps we should have all listened when GM Charlie Casserly said that they were earnestly negotiating with both Bush and Williams.

A few quick comments:

• Either the Texans didn't see much difference between Bush and Williams, or they didn't want to risk a prolonged holdout with Reggie. Those are the only reasons I can think of as to why they're picking Williams, and not trading down.

• On the other hand, it's possible that no one offered them an attractive enough package to trade down. There didn't seem to be a lot of activity around this pick.

• The Saints should be smiling from ear to ear right now. The value of their pick just went through the roof.

And in case you're curious, my advice to the Saints is "Deuce who"? Pick Reggie, and let things work themselves out. Remember that New Orleans had Ricky Williams on their roster when they drafted the Deuce a few years back.

I really hope Reggie is a Saint at about 12:30PM EST tomorrow. If there was ever a city that needed some good news, getting Reggie to go along with New Orleans Hornets star Chris Paul would be a great way to lift the city's spirits.

Unsurprisingly, feedback on this move is overwhelmingly negative. Even the great Chuck Klosterman has seen fit to weigh in with his critique.

The more I think about it, the more I think that this was a terrible move. The Texans should have at least tried to trade down to the 2 or 4 spot, which would have guaranteed them a shot at either Williams or D'Brickashaw Ferguson (who for my money, would have been a better pick than Mario). I understand the need to get a pass-rusher - hence Charlie Casserly's 'football decision' rationale, but I just don't see how you pass on the best player available. I mean, it's not like Domanick Davis is an elite Running Back or anything. I have a tough time believing that any team not named the Redskins, Seahawks, Cardinals, Chargers, or Chiefs would not view Bush as a potential upgrade. The Texans also have 4 first day picks, so they will have the means to move up and grab a pass-rusher such as Manny Lawson in the late teens/early twenties, if that's what they so desire.

I guess it comes down to this. The Texans may be enamored with Mario Williams, and feel that he will be as good or better of a pro and/or will fill a greater need, but they didn't get the value for the first overall pick that they should have. They could have traded down, or down then back up (with New Orleans) to get Mario, picking up additional picks in the process, but they didn't.

As expected, Texans fans are not happy over this move. Of course, the players are saying all the right things, though most of them are probably privately thinking "what was I thinking when I signed here?"

More draft coverage to come this weekend.


At 9:22 PM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

God, why don't you get a picture that takes up the entire page?


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