Mysterious Texans complicate how Cardinals operate with No. 3 pick

Apr 21, 2023, 8:47 AM

Houston Texans general manager Nick Caserio speaks during a news conference at the NFL football sco...

Houston Texans general manager Nick Caserio speaks during a news conference at the NFL football scouting combine, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

The Carolina Panthers may hold the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, but beyond them taking one of the four top quarterback prospects, there’s not much else to write home about.

One pick later, though, and it’s a whole different story.

The Houston Texans hold a lot of power at No. 2 overall. After thinking they would use the pick to add a franchise QB through the draft, there are rumblings they could instead target another position with the selection or even trade the pick altogether.

Texans general manager Nick Caserio only stoked the fire more when he said during a pre-draft press conference this week that the team was open for business while adding that teams have called looking to move up.

And whatever the Texans do at No. 2 will directly impact the Arizona Cardinals at No. 3.

On one side, the Texans opting for a non-quarterback like Alabama’s Will Anderson Jr. could mean a huge return for Arizona. With the potential to nab the second signal caller off the board, opposing general managers will be calling with blank checks in hand.

With the potential for teams to add either Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, Anthony Richardson or Will Levis, new Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort might need another phone to field all the interested parties’ calls.

Missing out on a generational talent like Anderson would be tough for the Cardinals to swallow, but the team is far from being one player away from calling the roster rebuilt and could use the additional assets it receives in any kind of trade-down scenario to speed things along.

And if the Texans do decide on a quarterback at No. 2 overall, it’s not the end of the world for the Cardinals, who can still trade out of the pick or stick with Anderson or another top prospect at No. 3.

It’s option No. 3 that could throw a bit of a wrench in Arizona’s plans if it’s set on dealing the first-round pick.

If the Texans decide they’re open to trading the second overall pick, the attention the Cardinals’ No. 3 pick was getting will surely take a hit.

That’s not to say Arizona couldn’t still get valuable assets if a team were to leapfrog and select at QB at No. 2, but a move like that could end up weakening the compensation the Cardinals could receive.

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