How the Houston Texans could find themselves adding lightning to thunder
One of the most exciting and highly graded players in the NFL Draft is University of Texas running back Bijan Robinson. The thought of the Texans lining up with Bryce Young, Dameon Pierce, and Robinson this season, would certainly appeal to a lot of Texans fans.
But others would see Robinson as a luxury pick, based on the position he plays. The Texans already have Pierce and signed former Bills running back Devin Singletary to a 1-year deal. And let's face it, the Texans have a lot of holes to fill on the roster.
But keep this in mind, Robinson is considered to be a top 3 prospect in this draft, and if he falls into the twenties as many mock drafts are projecting, landing a player with his talent in the back of the first round could provide tremendous value.
Now, running back isn't seen as a need for the Texans, but let's look at that for a minute. Pierce had a phenomenal rookie year, but his lack of touches in college is one of the reasons he fell to the 4th round. And when he got a sizable workload in the NFL, he injured his ankle and was unable to finish the season.
That could be a fluke, but he hasn't proven he can be a bell cow running back to this point, despite showing tremendous talent. Plus, could you imagine the possibilities with a backfield tandem of Robinson and Pierce?
How about Devin Singletary?
Would his signing preclude them from taking a running back? Doubtful, he's on a 1-year deal, so there's no commitment to him long-term. Teams require more than two backs to get through a season. Just ask the 49ers.
If we look at Texans OC Bobby Slowik, and DeMeco Ryans, they both came from San Francisco where they prioritize being able to run the ball, and have brought in countless backs to handle the workload. They even went all-in on arguably the best back in the league and traded for Christian McCaffrey after dealing with so many injuries at the position. So they're not philosophically opposed to spending significant draft capital on the position.
How does @Bijan5Robinson stack up against CMC & Saquon?
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Would GM Nick Caserio be open to taking a running back in the first round?
While we don't know exactly how Nick feels about taking running backs early, we can look at last year's draft for some insight.
When the Texans were ready to pick at No. 5 in Round 2, we heard rumors that the pick was going to be Iowa State running back, Breece Hall. Of course, the Jets predictably traded in front of the Texans at No. 4 in the 2nd round and were the first team to draft a RB.
The Texans then pivoted and took safety Jalen Pitre, who had a nice rookie season for Houston.
So if we believe that rumor to be true, Caserio isn't opposed to taking backs early if he sees one he believes in. And Robinson is more highly regarded than Hall.
At the end of the day, do I believe Robinson could be in play for the Texans? Probably not, for all the reasons I laid out. He could also get drafted earlier than expected. But the new staff clearly values having multiple backs to keep the running game churning. And the Texans could do a lot worse than moving up into the back of the first round and taking a top 3 talent on draft night. This team needs good football players.
Especially if they are able to draft a QB at No.2, go best player available at No. 12, and then move up back into the first round if Robinson is free-falling into the late twenties. Ideally, they would only have to move up a few spots from their first pick of Round 2, No. 33 overall.
Three picks in the first round? Yes, please.