Examining The Two Big First Round Trades
Comparing the trades completed by Houston and Carolina
Draft season is over, yes really. We can all rest a bit. However, the national media doesn’t see it that way. Houston has been continues to be criticized over their decision to trade up from 1.12 to 1.03.
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Nick Caserio and Demeco Ryans shocked the world with a big surprise in drafting quarterback C.J. Stroud at 1.02 only to follow that up with a trade up to 1.03 to draft defensive end Will Anderson.
The compensation was steep with an exchange of 1st rounders in this draft, pick 2.33, and two future picks to move up to 1.03 (along with a 4th rounder in return).
Immediate reactions were summed up as “Arizona fleeced Houston”. I disagree in context of comparison with Carolina’s move.
The bulk of national media is focusing in on this trade in a view that the move was to draft a defensive end. That a team should not trade away that level compensation/assets for a non-quarterback player.
My response to this is: This was a trade for a quarterback, not the defensive end. Maybe we should view it as a package deal.
From my viewpoint the order of selections was for protection. There were numerous reports that Tennessee was angling for a move up from 1.11 to 1.03 to draft Stroud.
By selecting Stroud at 1.02 this eliminated any chance of losing out on him. And the percentage chance of a team moving up to 1.03 for Anderson were near zero.
Had Houston taken Anderson at 1.02, the price would have increased for the 1.03 draft slot with other teams bidding.
The question then becomes why did Houston have to trade so much after taking Stroud and eliminating Tennessee from the process? Nobody really knows the answer to that question absent a direct quote from Nick Caserio. But we can speculate.
My guess is Houston had initial trade parameters in place with Arizona for 1.03, even before selecting Stroud. Once Houston got wind of Tennessee trying to move up as well, Houston had to adjust and create a package situation for both players.
Indianapolis was locked in on Richardson. Reportedly Seattle would have taken Anderson or Witherspoon at 5, my guess Anderson if he was available. A trade up to 5 was not an option.
Select Stroud and finalize the package with Arizona. Take the best two players on your board.
I wanted to take a look at the comparisons in draft value for trades made with Houston and Carolina.
As we all remember, Carolina jumped Houston in a trade up to 1.01 with Chicago moving back to 1.09 for a haul of assets including wide receive D.J. Moore.
For the trade value chart, I valued D.J. Moore at an “2024 early 2nd” value. One could argue, with his contract already in place, his value could be a late 1st.
Majority of the charts list the excess value at Early 1st value. As it turned out, Carolina traded up to draft Quarterback Bryce Young.
Now over to Houston’s trade:
The trade value chart comes back with excess value of Mid 1st round value.
Houston came out of the draft with a potential franchise quarterback and cornerstone skill position player. Carolina lost a very good wide receiver, and gained a potential cornerstone quarterback.
Excess value is slightly higher for Carolina as compared to Houston, per the above charts.
Both teams relinquished a future 1st round draft selection. Carolina gave up, in value, two future 2nd round selections conversely with Houston giving up a future 3rd and this year’s 2nd round selection.
We need to stop looking at this as a trade for just a singular player, even for both teams. Both were package deals for potential cornerstone players for relatively similar value.
For Houston both players will have to exceed expectations to realize the long term value. This is where coaching will take over to put these players in the best position to win. If the team falters this year, Houston will have to deal with large amount of blow back from the media next draft cycle.
The organization hired, by most accounts, the best candidate available on the market.
Now comes the time to prove everyone that the head coach hire and draft selections were the correct ones.
Forget about 2024 draft class and what could be. We are here and now. Go Texans.
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