Sean Pendergast

Nick Caserio Tempers Expectations For Houston Texans Rookie Class

Nick Caserio had a nice draft class, but he is not ready to anoint them saviors yet.
Nick Caserio had a nice draft class, but he is not ready to anoint them saviors yet. Screen grab from Twitter (Mark Berman, FOX 26)
The Houston Texans had their annual charity golf tournament on Monday earlier this week. That event is always a "feel good" kind of day, largely because the team is raising literally hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity while giving the media a bonus availability post-draft and pre-minicamp. It's normally a very positive day, sweltering heat notwithstanding.

If anything, Monday's event had a little extra energy, simply because it feels like the Texans have partially turned some sort of corner in the public eye. They're making sensible moves, Lovie Smith is a real head coach (not an overwhelmed puppet), and the schedule is coming out in a couple days, which even for bad teams, has a "Christmas day kind of feel.

Well, that is for everyone except general manager Nick Caserio, who has zero time (literally) for the release of the schedule this Thursday night:
Thankfully, Caserio appears to be very good at identifying talent, because he would be awful when it comes to marketing. Come on, Nick! GET EXCITED!

You want to know something else that Nick Caserio is not ready to get excited about publicly? The slew of rookies he just brought into the building via the NFL Draft. While the rest of the city is going to bed at night creaming about all of the "A-" grades the experts just gave Caserio and his staff post draft, Caserio thinks the expectations for these rookies are getting a little stupid here early on:
Damn, Nick. The schedule release is a useless night, the rookies are getting too much hype... what's next? Toro smells?

Well, forgive me. I am going to continue to get irrationally excited over the nine man rookie class that you brought in, Nick. Hell, I may even get pumped about a few of your undrafted free agents like Notre Dame defensive lineman Kurt Hinish and Houston tight end Seth Green. In fact, I may out my money where my mouth is and bet on a few of these Texans rookies to win some hardware!

Behold, courtesy of, the odds for Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year in the National Football League:

Offensive Rookie of the Year
Drake London 11/2
Kenny Pickett 13/2
Breece Hall 8/1
Treylon Burks 8/1
Garrett Wilson 9/1
Kenneth Walker III 10/1
Chris Olave 12/1
Christian Watson 12/1
Jameson Williams 12/1
Desmond Ridder 16/1
James Cook 16/1
Malik Willis 16/1
Matt Corral 16/1
Skyy Moore 16/1
Jahan Dotson 18/1
George Pickens 33/1
Isaiah Spiller 33/1
Sam Howell 33/1
Trey McBride 33/1
Carson Strong 40/1
Kyren Williams 40/1
Dameon Pierce 50/1
Jalen Tolbert 50/1
John Metchie III 50/1

Defensive Rookie of the Year
Aidan Hutchinson 5/1
Kayvon Thibodeaux 11/2
Travon Walker 8/1
Quay Walker 17/2
Devin Lloyd 10/1
Jermaine Johnson II 10/1
Kyle Hamilton 10/1
Ahmad Gardner 12/1
Derek Stingley Jr 12/1
Jordan Davis 18/1
Kaiir Elam 18/1
Nakobe Dean 18/1
Trent McDuffie 18/1
Andrew Booth Jr 20/1
George Karlaftis 20/1
Devonte Wyatt 25/1
Daxton Hill 40/1
Drake Jackson 40/1
Kyler Gordon 40/1
Arnold Ebiketie 50/1
Boye Mafe 50/1
Brian Asamoah 50/1
Christian Harris 50/1
Jalen Pitre 50/1
Jaquan Brisker 50/1
Leo Chenal 50/1
Lewis Cine 50/1
Roger McCreary 50/1
This looks about right. Stingley is the headliner of the Texans' rookie class, and thus has the shortest odds to win his respective Rookie of the Year Award at 12/1. I do think if Stingley is fully healthy, which Caserio and Lovie Smith both indicated Monday they have no concerns about, he is a sneaky good play at those odds. Of the other two Texans defensive rookies, I think Christian Harris is a fun play at 50/1. If he can find his way into the rotation early, he could be a guy that rolls up some tackle numbers.

Offensively, the Texans' two rookie skill guys are understandably deep on the odds board, but I am confident that both Dameon Pierce and John Metchie III can be viable contributors to an improved Texans offense. If I had to pick one of the two, I would go with Pierce, because he has the better chance of garnering a bigger role in the offense, and he unlike Metchie, Pierce is not coming off an ACL injury.

Either way, I plan on remaining excited about these rookies, and excited to find out where and when they play their games this year. Sue me, Nick!

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at and like him on Facebook at
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Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts afternoon drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the post game show for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast