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#pounditFriday, July 19, 2024

Interesting detail emerges about Texans’ trade up for Will Anderson

Nick Caserio looks ahead

Sep 11, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; New England Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Cardinals 23-21. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Texans selected CJ Stroud with the second overall pick in the NFL Draft last week, but that does not mean the former Ohio State star was the top player on their draft board.

Many analysts predicted that the Texans would take edge rusher Will Anderson at No. 2. Instead, they drafted Stroud and then swung a trade with the Arizona Cardinals to move up to No. 3, giving them back-to-back picks in the top three. Houston paid a hefty price to trade up and get Anderson, but the trade package was really what they gave up for Stroud.

Follow us a bit here to see how.

According to Houston radio host Lance Zierlein, who also serves as a draft analyst for NFL.com, Anderson was the top player on the Texans’ board, and the player the team wanted the most despite selecting him third. The reason they took Stroud before Anderson was strategic.

Houston wanted to get Stroud off the board at No. 2, figuring that would create less competition in a trade for the No. 3 pick. Had they taken Anderson first and then tried to trade up to No. 3 to get Stroud, they may have been bidding against a team like the Tennessee Titans, who were said to be targeting the quarterback.

The Texans traded the 12th pick, 33rd pick, a 2024 first-round pick and 2024 third-round pick to move up to No. 3. On paper, they made that move to draft Anderson. But if that looks more like the type of haul a team would give up for a quarterback, it is. Houston essentially traded that package for Stroud.

There was a lot of negative information about Stroud leading up to the draft, but none of it was concerning enough to the Texans. While they may have had Anderson graded higher overall, the trade they made was more about securing the quarterback.

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