The Houston Texans had already landed their next franchise quarterback with C.J. Stroud at No. 2 overall in the 2023 NFL draft.
The Texans had a shot to take their best player available with Alabama defensive end Will Anderson. However, they would need to work out a deal with the Arizona Cardinals at No. 3 overall.
As much as the Texans’ draft war room wanted to celebrate Stroud and also the chance to get Anderson, they had to stay focused.
“It’s pretty subdued, quite frankly,” general manager Nick Caserio said.
The Texans negotiated with the Cardinals until a minute and a half left until Arizona had to turn in their pick. Once the trade was made and the pick for Anderson was in, then the emotions flowed.
“It’s very transactional,” said Caserio. “You go from one transaction to the next. Transaction at 2, now we have a transaction at 3, until, I would say, there was an emotional outburst at the end when we actually consummated the trade. There’s natural excitement. People should be excited. People put a lot of time and a lot of effort and a lot of work into this. When you see something come to fruition, you should have some emotion. I get emotional as well. I know it doesn’t appear that way.”
Even though Caserio has to stay even and on task, he knows there is a component of emotion and excitement involved in the picks.
Said Caserio: “You’ve got to flip the page, and you can’t get too high or low. Then I think once we got to the end, there’s certainly some natural excitement probably because you we knew they wouldn’t have to stick around too late because we weren’t picking the rest of the night.”