As the NFL Combine gets into full swing from Indianapolis, Houston Texans general manager Rick Smith knows how important this week is for his team.
“I feel pretty good about our team,” he said about his team’s draft plan, “Nine of our last ten first-round draft picks are still with us on this team so we’ve had some success on keeping our guys and developing them.”
It’s a formula that has worked out well for the Texans as every first round pick since 2008 remains with the team. Those picks include Duane Brown, Kareem Jackson, and J.J. Watt, along with many others.
In his press conference, Smith also addressed the need of getting one of those other first round picks, DeAndre Hopkins, signed to a long-term extension during the offseason.
“Our goal is to keep all of our good young players and DeAndre is a good young player. We are absolutely intent on re-signing him. He’s one of those guys that’s an arrow-up player and we certainly want to continue to build around him.”
The other major question that the Texans must address this offseason: what to do at starting quarterback. After Brock Osweiler struggled in his first season in Houston, Smith said that they would be evaluating that as well.
As for what the future holds leading up to the draft, Smith credited vice president of football administration Chris Olsen for putting the team in a good position and believes that the cap room created will be beneficial this offseason.
“I can’t say enough about the job that Chris Olsen does for us in managing our salary cap and putting us in position to have the chance to keep those players. That’s what we’ve decided to do and I’m confident in that route.”
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