March 20, 2018

Don’t Believe The February Hype

With the season officially over and a new champion crowned, the 2014 NFL off-season has begun. Due to a scheduling conflict at the venue, we’ll have a few extra weeks to hype, debate, and speculate about what will happen with the Texans first overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft. Over the coming weeks and months your Twitter timeline will be flooded with “expert” predictions on which direction the Texans are leaning. Most of those predictions won’t be worth the time it takes you to read the article; especially during February and March.

Until free-agency opens up next month there isn’t much NFL related to talk about, so draft rumors get kicked around to kill time and boost hits for websites. Rumors over which quarterback the Texans prefer will likely dominate sports talk radio in Houston for the next several months, so not surprisingly sparks flew when Russ Lande said recently in an article for ‘Sports on Earth’:

According to trusted sources, the Texans are initially leaning towards taking either Blake Bortles or Johnny Manziel with the top pick. Although Manziel would obviously be the choice of owner Bob McNair, O’Brien is not sold that Manziel possesses the work ethic and intangibles necessary to be the face of a franchise.

His reason for saying that? Trusted sources of course, always unnamed sources. I know that sources remain unnamed because otherwise that person would lose their access to information, but using unnamed sources does leave the article’s validity open to skepticism.

His sources could absolutely 100% believe that the Texans are indeed leaning towards selecting either Johnny Manziel or Blake Bortles, but there is also absolutely a 0% chance the Texans have made up their mind on the pick in February before the scouting combine has taken place. The top quarterbacks being considered were not at the Senior Bowl so the Texans coaching staff hasn’t been able to see them workout in person or sit down to interview them. Do you honestly think they’d make a final decision like who their franchise quarterback will be this early in the process with limited information on each player? What reason would they have to rush a franchise changing decision? I’m even skeptical on how much time Bill O’Brien has put in so far on watching tape of prospects. His first two priorities once announced as the next Texans head coach was to hire a staff and evaluate the players currently on the roster so they could make decisions on their pending free-agents. The Texans also fired members of the scout team so I’m not convinced that they’ve dug deep enough into their evaluation to be ready to make that decision.

Not accusing Russ Lande of this, but don’t dismiss the idea that some of the predictions from unnamed sources are completely made up. If you post an article claiming that sources are telling you that the Texans will take Johnny Manziel, your website will without a doubt receive a nice boost in web traffic. I don’t blame those sites for making a good business move, but I would just caution you against getting emotionally wrapped up in any early predictions. Don’t forget that last year at this time the draft “experts” all had Geno Smith going inside the top three as the first quarterback selected; he was drafted in the second round.

Except for last year with DeAndre Hopkins and in 2009 with Brian Cushing, the Texans have been fairly unpredictable with their draft picks. I don’t remember many, if any, experts predicting they would select J.J. Watt in 2011. Names like Nick Fairley, Cameron Jordan, and Prince Amukamara were considered to be their most likely choices but the Texans surprised us with the Wisconsin defensive end. The expert predictions for the Texans selection in 2010 (Kareem Jackson) and 2008 (Duane Brown) were also rather inaccurate. A prediction with incomplete info is worthless, so draft predictions before the combine or school pro-days should not be taken seriously.

3 Responses to “Don’t Believe The February Hype”
  1. Wolfgrin says:

    Thank goodness!

  2. pazu says:

    Manziel is the real deal. Just look at his freaking game film and forget all the blown up off the field media criticism. Manziel’s talent is tested vs elite competition. Something blake bortles did not ddo. And this whole work ethic commentt by obrien reeks of dishonesty. Its totally baseless and with no evidence. check the film and juge the man on what he does on the field. he is an amazing player and competitor. a playmaker with confidence. Something texan quarterbacks have always lacked.

  3. cartooner says:

    Good article, this is the grain (block?) of salt everyone needs to take while speculating on the draft. This is the time of year teams are lying, making smokescreens and talking junk to leverage their positions. IF it’s true that Cleveland, with two 1st round picks, really wants Manziel as bad as the rumor suggests, then it might behoove us to like Manziel a whole lot to see if Cleveland would like to guarantee they get him. All these “trusted source rumors” are attempts to see how valuable certain positions and prospects are to other teams.

%d bloggers like this: