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Houston Texans

Houston sitting on unusual collection of draft picks

That 2-point conversion Houston pulled off in Week 18 at Indianapolis is looking like one of last season’s most impactful plays. It allowed the Bears to pull off a trade that could transform their franchise. But the Texans are still well-positioned to juice up their own roster.

Who’s to say, for starters, that Houston won’t still get the No. 1 overall player on its board? Bryce Young is generally thought of as the No. 1 quarterback, but he’s awfully small. Some teams could prefer C.J. Stroud (pictured) or even Anthony Richardson.

And recall that the Texans are still working with the proceeds of their Deshaun Watson trade. If the Jimmy Johnson trade value chart is to be believed, Houston is sitting on the 4th-most draft capital in the last 20 years.

Johnson, recall, had the vision to realize he needed a chart showing the value of each draft pick, allowing trades to be made quickly during the draft. He therefore tasked an analyst to study previous trades (and perhaps player performance). All or most teams today use that chart or something close to it.

The chart starts with the first pick being worth 3000 points, with each descending pick being worth less until you get down to picks after 222 being worth just 1 point each. According to this chart, the No. 1 overall pick is worth twice as much as the No. 7 overall pick, three times as much as pick No. 16, and five times as much as pick 31.

According to this trade value chart, Houston is sitting on the most draft resources in the league right now, with about 25 percent more resources than other teams. Carolina, Seattle, Detroit and Arizona come next in line.

DRAFT CAPITAL CHART
TeamPoints
Houston5007.8
Carolina3778.0
Seattle3754.0
Detroit3513.2
Arizona3265.4
Indianapolis2692.3
Chicago2482.3
Las Vegas2441.8
Philadelphia2331.0
Atlanta2246.6
Pittsburgh2196.0
Tennessee2017.8
New England1979.0
NY Jets1952.0
Green Bay1818.4
Washington1647.6
Tampa Bay1534.6
New Orleans1498.2
LA Chargers1410.6
NY Giants1395.4
Jacksonville1359.4
Dallas1276.8
Buffalo1213.8
Cincinnati1166.4
Kansas City1132.4
Baltimore1025.6
Minnesota1003.4
LA Rams895.4
Cleveland792.8
Miami777.0
Denver631.8
San Francisco372.9

Note, by the way, that San Francisco comes in a distant last. That’s despite picking up three compensatory picks at the end of the third round. Those are nice assets, but the 49ers are still paying off their trades for Christian McCaffrey and Trey Lance.

If this draft value chart is to be believed, the most valuable all-time drafts belong to the 1991 Cowboys, 1992 Colts, 1979 Bills and 2018 Browns. But that’s grading drafts on pick positions rather than how players actually turned out. Over the eight teams that have had drafts worth over 6000 “points”, only one of those teams really hit it big with their first pick (the 1985 Bills, with Bruce Smith).

If we compare this upcoming draft to others in the 32-team era (since 2002), only three teams coming in higher than the Texans. They’ve got to make those picks count, of course, but they’ve got plenty of resources to work with.

TOP 40 DRAFTS SINCE 2002
YearTeamFirst player chosenPoints
2018BrownsBaker Mayfield (1)6,334
2021JaguarsTrevor Lawrence (1)5,189
2017BrownsMyles Garrett (1)5,095
2023Texanshold No. 2 overall pick5,008
2009LionsMatthew Stafford (1)4,900
2002TexansDavid Carr (1)4,623
2022TexansDerek Stingley (3)4,595
2022JetsAhmad Gardner (4)4,568
2014RamsGreg Robinson (2)4,552
2020DolphinsTua Tagovailoa (5)4,452
2021JetsZach Wilson (2)4,447
2022LionsAidan Hutchinson (2)4,390
2022GiantsKayvon Thibodeaux (5)4,348
2019CardinalsKyler Murray (1)4,295
2008DolphinsJake Long (1)4,294
2004ChargersEli Manning (1)4,289
2007RaidersJaMarcus Russell (1)4,282
2006TexansMario Williams (1)4,236
2022JaguarsTravon Walker (1)4,226
2008FalconsMatt Ryan (3)4,151
2014TexansJadeveon Clowney (1)4,105
2008ChiefsGlenn Dorsey (5)4,081
2003BengalsCarson Palmer (1)4,075
2010RamsSam Bradford (1)4,063
200549ersAlex Smith (1)4,042
2012ColtsAndrew Luck (1)4,042
2020BengalsJoe Burrow (1)3,978
2015BuccaneersJameis Winston (1)3,943
2019RaidersClelin Ferrell (4)3,915
2011BroncosVon Miller (2)3,889
2012BrownsTrent Richardson (3)3,863
2007LionsCalvin Johnson (2)3,854
2018GiantsSaquon Barkley (2)3,780
2023Panthershold No. 1 overall pick3,778
2023Seahawkshold No. 5 overall pick3,754
2021DolphinsJaylen Waddle (6)3,707
2010BuccaneersGerald McCoy (3)3,642
2003LionsCharles Rogers (2)3,623
2013JaguarsLuke Joeckel (2)3,620
2008RamsChris Long (2)3,614

—Ian Allan

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