Every-Thing Sports

Jermaine's Super Bowl Memories

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On Sunday evening, Super Bowl 53 will be played between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams. Sports bars, restaurants, dives, lounges, and other places of public gathering will be bubbling with party-goers. As will the various homes and other private establishments of those who prefer a less public atmosphere. .

Different people have their own preferences about how they choose to consume and remember different Super Bowls. Some are marked by bets made and money won. Some are looked upon fondly because your team won, or you spent it with people having an amazing party. Here's how I remember some past Super Bowls:

Super Bowl 31 (1997)

1997's Super Bowl was a first and a last for me

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Taking place on January 26, 1997, Super Bowl 31 saw the Packers beat the Patriots 35-21. It was the first time the game was held in my hometown and I was old enough to enjoy some of the sites and sounds. Imagine being a 16-year old living in New Orleans, and your teacher takes your English class on a field trip to see a play in The French Quarter, then cutting your class loose for hours to roam freely. It was also the last time I got to enjoy it with my little brother who was murdered a few weeks later. To this day, I've never been the same and have had a love/hate relationship with this time of year.

Super Bowl 38 (2004)

When "wardrobe malfunction" entered the lexicon

Donald Miralle/Getty Images

On February 1, 2004, we were treated to a great game and learned a new phrase. The Patriots beat the Panthers on a field goal with four seconds left in the game. During the halftime show, technically after the game and the next day, we learned about the phrase "wardrobe malfunction" when Justin Timberlake pulled on Janet Jackson's top revealing her bare boob complete with ornate nipple ring on live broadcast television. My 10 month old son was almost dropped due to my shock and awe reaction. This was also the start of our family tradition of watching the game at our own home.

Super Bowl 44 (2010)

Brees' son, Baylen, was fascinated with confetti

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I'll never forget February 7, 2010 as long as I'm of sound body and mind. The Saints beat the Colts 31-17. The team I grew up watching and rooting for my whole life, the team that had caused me so much grief and pain, they had finally topped the football mountain. I took a road trip with my friend Geno to New Orleans to watch the game with my family. Because we also saw the Manning boys grow up and play football nearby, my maternal grandmother felt the need to troll the family by wearing Colts gear. When Tracy Porter caught the pick six to seal the game, I took my jersey off, ran outside and danced in the street and on top of my truck. Turns out it was the last Super Bowl I watched with my maternal grandmother as she passed away a few years later. My wife later told me my son was so upset at how the game was going, that they took him to watch a movie at halftime. Wonder where he gets that from?

There are plenty of good memories, and bad ones that surround Super Bowls. I shared some of mine here today that were pretty near and dear to my heart. As hard as it may be sometimes, I like being vulnerable to you guys. One of my favorite recent memories was last year being able to write a column on Super Bowl 52 for this website. I look forward to doing the same thing this year. Go out this weekend and create some memories this Super Bowl Sunday.

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

A curious thing might be happening with the Texans. This year's third round pick, Kahale Warring, has barely played in camp due to injuries and is in danger of being stashed on IR for the season. One of last year's third round picks, Martinas Rankin, may be in danger of not making the roster. The 2017 third rounder D'Onta Foreman was cut earlier in camp. While historically the Texans have been terrible picking in the third round, just taking a look at the Bill O'Brien years makes for some surprising results.

Keep in mind that these numbers are very fluid. Everyone has different criteria for what makes a hit or a miss. But let's dive in and see how the Texans have done.

By the numbers

First, let's take a look at the historical success rate by position of third round picks in the NFL. "Success rate" means the player became a functional NFL starter, which you would expect from most players selected in the third round.

The numbers:

3rd Round - OL (40%) TE (39%) LB (34%) DL (27%) WR (25%) DB (24%) QB (17%) RB (16%)

(Source: Arrowheadsports.com)

Now the Texans

Bill O'Brien has been around since the 2014 draft, so that is where we will focus. Let's look at the third round picks:

2014: C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Louis Nix DT. Nix was a complete bust; C.J. developed into a decent tight end before concussions prematurely ended his career. Still, you could reluctantly call him a hit. Nix is a clear miss.

2015: Jalen Strong, WR. Complete miss.

2016: Braxton Miller, WR. He at least saw some action on the field before being cut but another big miss.

2017: D'Onta Foreman, RB. Cut in camp this year, so another complete whiff.

2018: Justin Reid, S, Martinas Rankin, OL, Jordan Akins, TE.

Reid has all the ear markings of a perennial Pro Bowler. Akins has emerged as a decent threat in a crowded tight end room. Rankin, as mentioned earlier, might not make the team. So two hits and for now Rankin is a miss. We won't look at 2019 yet, but the Warring pick - questionable at the time - could easily be another clunker, but we may not know until next year. What happens to those two over the next few years will help add clarity to these numbers.

Is it as bad as it looks?

So overall, with nine third-round picks in the O'Brien era, the Texans have three hits, five misses (if you count Rankin) and an incomplete.

The positives? They are batting 1.000 on tight ends (pending Warring) and safety. They are zero percent on OL, RB and WR.

The overall hit rate is .375. In a given year, NFL starters from the second and third round combined make up roughly 30 percent of the league. Even if you count Fiedorowicz as a bust, they are still at almost 29 percent out of the third round, which would be above the league average, according to a Forbes study from the 2014 season. While that number varies year to year, it is likely no more than a few percentage points. So about average.

Throw in the second round picks, where Bernardrick McKinney, Zach Cunningham and Nick Martin have all become starters with one glaring bust - Xavier Sua'Filo - and they are hitting at 75 percent in the second round, 66 percent overall in rounds 2-3. Now you could argue Martin is not a good player, but he has been a starter pretty much since Day 1. Even taking him out, that is still 55 percent. Again, the bust is glaring in Sua'Filo, which makes it look a lot worse.

The good news

The narrative is the Texans tend to nail their first round picks. According to the Riot Report, first rounders only hit at a 53 percent rate for a player to become a consistent starter over five years.

Again, looking at the O'Brien era only, the top picks have been Jadeveon Clowney, Will Fuller, Kevin Johnson, Deshaun Watson and Titus Howard. Eliminating Howard since it is too early, Clowney and Watson are clear hits; Fuller is a good player who can never stay healthy. If he does, he could be a key contributor but that remains to be seen. Still, he is an NFL starter so give him a hit, even if it is incomplete. Johnson was a disaster and is gone. If you give them Fuller, that is still 75 percent, well above the league average. If you don't count Fuller, they are right at the league average, slightly below. Again, all of this is specific to the O'Brien era.

What does it all mean?

The third round misses have been high profile, colossal mistakes, which makes it look worse. Foreman was supposed to develop into a home run threat on offense. Miller was a high profile project. The team traded up to get Strong. Nix never made it to the field. But overall, the results are about on par with the rest of the league, even above average. Those were not the results I expected when I started this article. But there is also no way to quantify players who hung around and contributed but were never really "hits" or "misses." The Texans misses were clear, as they are no longer on the roster.

Which brings us to Duke Johnson

While many have been critical of the Texans for giving up a third to get Duke Johnson, it makes a lot of sense. You are getting a proven NFL player with starting capabilities for a pick that hits less than 30 percent of the time. While building through the draft is important, it also goes to show that most teams and fans greatly overvalue draft picks. And most picks are like buying new cars - the value goes down as soon as you get them off the lot. Johnson should provide a much surer thing than a third-rounder.

The bottom line

As with most things, when it comes to drafting, the Texans are about average. The third round busts look bad relative to expectations, but overall the number of hits is about where the league is. They probably aren't as good in the first round as the perception. Obviously good teams do better than than average, bad ones do much worse, but as with most things, the Texans aren't bad at drafting high-round picks.

They are just mediocre, a staple of the organization since its inception.

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