As far as new Houston Texans General Manager Brian Gaine is concerned, everything about Deshaun Watson’s second season with the team looks to be encouraging.
First, there is the quarterback’s recovery from the season-ending knee injury he suffered last year. Then, there is the task of surrounding the Texans’ 2017 first-round draft choice with more assets.
‘Without getting into the specifics on the injury, very optimistic about his return from injury’
Gaine believes, even though the Texans won’t have a first- or second-round pick, it will all add up the right way for the team.
“Without getting into the specifics on the injury, very optimistic about his return from injury,” Gaine told Alex Marvez and Rick Neuheisel during a recent appearance on Late Hits. “Number two, without having the first- and second-round pick, part of the reason is that we were able to acquire Deshaun Watson, so that was a well-worthy sacrifice. Number three, we have three picks in the third round.
‘With the three picks in the third round, that gives us a chance to get three of the top hundred players’
“History would tell you you can still find starters in the third round at all levels of the draft. But with the three picks in the third round, that gives us a chance to get three of the top hundred players. Maybe they’re not in the top 25 or 40, but will give us a chance to get three players in the top 100. So we’re excited about the opportunity to fortify the roster in the third round and, equally, the fourth. But I’m optimistic, too, that at every level of the draft, with our eight selections, that we’re going to have a great opportunity to find potential starters, contributing backups, reserve players, core special-teams guys at varying points of the draft.”
Gaine spent last season as vice president of player personnel for the Buffalo Bills. But he was still director of player personnel for the Texans during the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine at Indianapolis, and had a chance to get to know Watson.
‘History would tell you that the most successful quarterbacks will have the physical ability, but they match it with the intangible profile’
“I would tell you that the physical part is easy to see for many evaluators,” Gaine said. “You see what they do on the field, you see what they from the tape. But it was the interview time that was spent with him and then the time spent thereafter when we brought him into our building for one of our 30 visits in the spring.
“The physical part speaks for itself, but it was the time spent with him finding out who this person was, what his football character was, what his personal character was, his work ethic. All the intangibles were outstanding. And history would tell you that the most successful quarterbacks will have the physical ability, but they match it with the intangible profile and this guy matched both. And that was one of the lead indicators that this would be a strong candidate for us.”