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Houston Texans' mind-blowing draft haul generating strong reactions

Houston Texans' mind-blowing draft haul generating strong reactions
The Texans made a splash on draft night. Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images.

On a football field, there are 11 positions for each side of the ball. If you ranked all 22 positions in sequential order, quarterback and whatever version of outside linebacker/defensive end/EDGE you want to use would be the top two spots. Passing and rushing the passer are what the game is based on these days. What the Texans managed to pull off was pretty impressive!

At the number two overall pick, the Texans got QB C.J. Stroud. In a shocker, they traded back up to number three overall to select outside linebacker Will Anderson Jr. Two of the most important positions on the field drafted in the top three picks of the same draft. A major move by a franchise with the draft capital to make it happen. While the price will continue to be debated, getting two prospects of that caliber is phenomenal!

Grapefruits and liver are two foods that are healthy. Grapefruits are a great source of vitamin C. Liver is a rich source of protein. I don't know about you, but I can't stand either. Grapefruit tastes like the accidental invention it truly is. Liver tastes like a meat substitute trying to be wild game meat. However, when you look at the vitamin C and protein benefits from each, you understand why they're both essential to a diet. Can you find alternative sources for each? Of course. But getting it from naturally occurring sources is best. I used these two examples for a specific reason.

Stroud wasn't the QB everyone wanted. Bryce Young was the clear-cut favorite among everyone you asked. Fans, media, even haters had to acknowledge the kid is the real deal. When his size/durability was the only thing people could pick apart (or him being surrounded by talent), that's when I knew he was the truth. But Young wasn't going to be there at number two. That left the Texans looking at other options.

Whether it was trading out of the pick, drafting a defensive player, or possibly even taking a different quarterback. They did their due diligence and made a decision they felt was best for them after their first choice was no longer an option. They wanted a nice Valencia orange. Where they were shopping didn't have them, but they had a grapefruit. Still a good source of vitamin C that they desperately needed.

Anderson Jr. was widely regarded as one of the best, if not the best, defenders in this draft. Jalen Carter was seen as the best defensive player by a majority of those who spoke on the draft. His off the field issues probably kept him off some draft boards, and pushed down others. Some were infatuated with Tyree Wilson. His injury history and lack of consistent high-end production may have scared some off. When one looks at the defensive philosophy DeMeco comes from, you'll know how important that edge rusher is to that defense.

A solid pass rush means you don't have to cover as long, which means you don't need All Pros at every DB position. If the front four can help stop/slow down the run, the linebackers can help clean up the rest. They went to the steakhouse for dinner and wanted a filet mignon. When they heard it may be freezer burnt, they opted for the NY strip instead. Sure, they may have paid a premium for that steak, but that restaurant is known for having the best cuts and most flavorful steaks.

Another thing that can't be lost on these two guys is their character. Stroud's sheer joy and excitement after being drafted was a joy to see. His passion in his interview on the stage and interaction with the fans in attendance showed me he's ready to come to Houston and get to work. He feels this staff is prepared to make him into the player he knows he can be. Anderson Jr. is a high character guy by all reports. His former coaches, teammates, and opponents have said nothing but great things about him as a person and player.

Acquiring “Texans-worthy” players used to be a running joke. The team used to shy away from guys who had some off field and/or character issues. The fact that they got two guys who are at the top of their positions in the same draft at two of the most important positions on the field, AND they're deemed as good guys, needs to be talked about more. When attempting to change the culture, character guys are a major key. If said character guys can actually play, even better. But when those guys are two of the leaders on your team and on opposite sides of the ball, it creates a decent balance.

Whether you're upset about the trade or not, you have to give them credit. They came out the first round with a leader, and potential difference maker, on each side of the ball. Two to three years from now, we can judge the true outcome of this draft and the moves made. If there are playoff wins and years of being in the mix as a contender, hardly anyone who complained will still be complaining.

If folks are upset, let them vent. If folks are happy, let them enjoy. Myself, I'm really happy for this team and especially the fans and supporters. I don't use the word “deserve” often when it comes to sports. The fans truly deserve a winner. The passion I witness from them is unreal. Some have stuck by this team through thick and thin. Some have supported, monetarily and whatnot, no matter what. People like me who aren't fans and simply want to see them succeed are happy for those who are fans and have made those sacrifices. It's a good day for the organization. Live in the moment and enjoy!

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Justin Verlander is heading to the injured list. Composite Getty Image.

Astros ace Justin Verlander missed his start over the weekend due to neck discomfort, which had many fans concerned. The last Houston pitcher (Cristian Javier) to miss time with the same injury would end up out for the season and having to undergo Tommy John surgery.

Fortunately, it doesn't look like that will be the case for JV, and the team didn't anticipate having to put Verlander on IR. They hoped he would be able to start Thursday's game in Chicago.

But manager Joe Espada told the Astros flagship station on Tuesday that his progress “is slower than we expected.”

Fast-forward a few hours and JV is headed to the IL, with Nick Hernandez joining the club from Sugar Land.

Hopefully, this is just a short stint on the injured list for Verlander. Quite frankly, the Astros are running out of big league caliber starting pitching options.

One has to wonder, how many more injuries the team can sustain in 2024? The injury bug is biting hard, and the club is currently nine games behind Seattle in the AL West.

Up next

Framber Valdez takes the mound for Houston against the White Sox on Tuesday night.

The Athletic's Chandler Rome shares some possibilities the Astros might explore to replace Verlander in the post below.

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