The postseason marches on with eight teams still holding onto their hopes of capturing a Super Bowl title at SoFi Stadium on Feb. 13. The other 24 NFL franchises are deep in offseason mode, with general managers preparing for free agency and the 2022 NFL Draft. The Houston Texans have several housekeeping items on their to-do list. General manager Nick Caserio is in the midst of yet another head coaching search after relieving first-year coach David Culley of his duties at the conclusion of the 2021 campaign. Caserio's shortlist reportedly includes former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, New England Patriots inside linebackers coach Jarod Mayo, and Los Angeles Chargers offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi, among others as Caserio continues to cast a wide net.
Hiring a head coach may be Caserio's first objective, but several offseason decisions loom large. The Texans currently own the third-overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft. While speaking with the media on Tuesday
, Caserio discussed the possibility of trading the pick should the right offer reveal itself.
Several high-end talents are expected to be drafted in the top three. The top possibilities are Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux, Michigan's Aidan Hutchinson, Alabama’s Evan Neal, and Notre Dame’s Kyle Hamilton. With this news in mind, we've identified three teams who may be interested in swinging a trade with the Texans.
NEW YORK GIANTS
The Giants are largely expected to desire an offensive tackle with one of their two top-10 (No. 5 and No. 7). selections. Neal has been an easy target in recent mock drafts. Our very own Kyle Crabbs personally made that selection for the Giants in his latest mock draft
. The issue with that? The New York Jets, who are currently slated to make their selection one spot (fourth overall) before the Giants, may also be inclined to secure the services of the top offensive tackle available themselves. Should the Giants stand pat at No. 5, they may risk missing out on their most-desired target.
Neal is an incredible prospect that blends mammoth size (6-foot6, 350 pounds) with rare athletic ability. Giants left tackle Andrew Thomas experienced a breakout campaign in 2021, as the former Georgia standout finally appeared worthy of the premium selection the Giants spent on him a year ago. A new general manager and head coach is yet to be named in East Rutherford, but the incoming regime may want to begin their tenure with unadulterated aggressiveness. Acquiring the No. 3 overall selection would do just that.
WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM
Washington has played musical chairs with the quarterback position for long enough. What once had the exciting potential to be a promising 2021 campaign was delivered a catastrophic blow when starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick suffered a hip subluxation injury in the infancy of Washington's debut game. Fitzpatrick missed the remainder of the season and backup quarterback Tyler Heinicke failed to usher the Football Team in the desired direction.
Heinicke joins a long list of starting quarterbacks in recent years that failed to become the difference-maker the franchise so desperately needed, joining the likes of Alex Smith, Dwayne Haskins, Colt McCoy, and Case Keenum, among others. It's about time Washington makes a move for their signal-caller once and for all, and staying put at No. 11 overall would be a risky strategy to deploy considering both Carolina (No. 6) and Denver (No. 9) qualify as QB-needy teams that are slated to draft before Washington comes on the clock. Moving up to No. 3 overall would be a pricey affair, especially in a quarterback class that lacks high-end talent, but it may be the only way Washington can guarantee itself an opportunity to land the quarterback of their choosing.
The 2021 iteration of the Falcons was an abysmal team defensively. Atlanta allowed opposing offenses to rack up 364.4 total yards of offense per game, to go along with 27 points per contest. Both marks rank in the bottom 10 statistically across the league. Head coach Arthur Smith and defensive coordinator Dean Pees have combined to form an exciting coaching staff, but they simply need more talented players on the defensive side of the ball in order to reach their full potential.
Starting quarterback Matt Ryan is expected back in 2022, paving the way for the Falcons to focus on overhauling their defensive personnel throughout the offseason. That's the line of thinking behind a metaphorical trade with the Texans that would catapult the Falcons to selecting inside the top three.
The top end of this draft is largely dominated by defensive talent, with Thibodeaux, Hutchinson, and Hamilton qualifying as realistic candidates to be selected Nos. 1-3. By trading up, the Falcons would guarantee themselves an opportunity to select one of these star defenders. A.J. Terrell and Grady Jarrett qualify as legitimate defensive weapons worth building around, but general manager Terry Fontenot would be wise to capture and seize an opportunity to land another big-time defensive talent in April.