Sean Pendergast

Forecasting Houston Texan Fan Reaction to Five NFL Draft Night Scenarios

What will the emotions of Texan fans be after the first round of the draft on Thursday night?
What will the emotions of Texan fans be after the first round of the draft on Thursday night? Photo by Eric Sauseda
The NFL Draft is just a few days away, and with Bryce Young a virtual lock to head to the Carolina Panthers with the first overall pick, the only thing that people can say with certainty about the Houston Texans at the second overall spot in the draft is that nobody has any clue what direction GM Nick Caserio is going to take with that pick, or with the 12th overall pick in the draft.

I think Dianna Russini of ESPN.com put it best on Twitter this past week:
Let's be very clear on one thing — anybody with an educated opinion on the draft right now thinks that the Houston Texans are nuts for even thinking of drafting someone other than Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud. So naturally, it appears there is a very good chance that the Texans,the masters of zigging while everyone else is zagging the last three years, perilously so most of the time, will be either drafting a non-Stroud player or trading back.

Thursday night, Miller Outdoor Theater will host their second annual Texans draft party, and fans have been gearing up for this one for a while now. Of course, the fever pitch to which the excitement has been building seems to have been correlated to an assumption that Young or Stroud would become a Texan. So what will the emotional state of Texans fans, both at the draft party and around the world, be under various scenarios on Thursday night.

I have five scenarios below, all of varying probability. Let's forecast:

"THE CHALK on MOCK DATABASE" SCENARIO – Texans draft STROUD 2nd, and Ohio State WR JAXON SMITH-NJIGBA 12th overall
Look, a fair amount of Texans fans are still miffed at the team for winning in Week 18, and thus, blowing their chance at taking Bryce Young first overall. I think many of those same fans have arrived at a place where they view Stroud as a reasonable consolation prize, and the ability to add one of Stroud's favorite targets from his days as a Buckeye with the team's other first round pick is enticing. Also, it would mean that all the exhausting fretting over the team declining to take a QB would be over, and for naught.
Overriding Emotion: RELIEF

"THE RUMORS ARE TRUE" SCENARIO – Texans draft Alabama DE WILL ANDERSON 2nd overall, and take best player available 12th overall
This is the what the oddsmakers see as most likely right now, and thus many Texans fans (and media members, like yours truly) have been using this last week to try to be okay with this. Hey, Anderson seems to have great potential — I like Texas Tech's Tyree Wilson more as an edge rusher, but whatever — but why are the Texans overthinking things again?
Overriding Emotion: CONFUSION

"THE HORROR" SCENARIO –Texans draft Kentucky QB WILL LEVIS 2nd overall, and take best player available 12th overall
Okay, this scenario proves that Texan fans don't just want a quarterback in the first round, but they want a specific quarterback, like Stroud or maybe Anthony Richardson from Florida (assuming Young goes to the Panthers first overall). Texan fans are terrified of the team selecting Levis, a Penn State transfer to Kentucky, whose final season in Lexington was littered with injuries and underperformance. Plus, his personality seems, at the very least, annoying.
Overriding Emotion: ANGER

"THE SHOCK WAVE" SCENARIO – Carolina passes on BRYCE YOUNG and he is there there at 2nd overall for the Texans
Okay, while Young appears to be a lock to go first overall to the Panthers, nothing has been confirmed yet, and while the odds of Young becoming a Panther are a virtual lock (-2000 as of Friday), they are not a LITERAL lock. What if the whole thing in Carolina was a smokescreen to try to get the Texans to trade up? If this happens, the Texans could draft tennis players for the rest fo the weekend, and Texan fans would still give this draft an A+.
Overriding Emotion: ORGASMIC JUBILATION

"A CURVE BALL AT 12" SCENARIO – Texans take Texas RB BIJAN ROBINSON with the 12th overall pick
So the Texans may completely botch the 2nd overall pick, or they may hit a home run. Either way, the attention will quickly shift to the 12th overall pick, one fo the picks they received in the Deshaun Watson trade. One scenario that I would LOVE to see is for the Texans to go a little unconventional, and take Texas stud RB Bijan Robinson with that pick. He plays a position that is not a premium draft position, but he is by far the bets player at said position, and in the offense that DeMeco Ryans wants to run, he could be a monster. I would love this, and at the very least, people who aren't on board with it have to at least be intrigued by it.
Overriding Emotion: INTRIGUED

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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 the morning drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the pre-game and post game shows for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast