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2011 NFL Draft: Historically Speaking, Texans More Likely To Trade Down Than Up

Since Texans general manager Rick Smith has taken the helm of the ship, or whatever you want to call the tenuous job arrangement he has with Gary Kubiak, the Texans have done one thing very well in the draft: trades. The Texans aren't the Patriots or anything, but they've managed to trade down quite a bit over the past few years. Nick Scurfield of HoustonTexans.com wrote a post about the draft trade history of Smith, who has managed to extract quite a bit of value from other teams over the years:

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It's clear that Smith and the Texans place a high value on draft picks. But Smith also has been willing to sacrifice picks in order to get a player that the Texans covet. There are other variables at play this year - the presumptive lack of free agency before the draft, the inability to trade players during the draft, the arrival of new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips and the Texans' need to get better on defense in a hurry - that make trying to predict based on past history a dicey proposition.

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The bottom line is that a trade-up by Smith and the Texans on draft day would be uncharacteristic, but not entirely unprecedented.

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Exempting the Matt Schaub trade, which I will since all teams tend to deal a lot for their quarterback, a vast majority of Smith's trades have brought in more draft picks than they gave up. The only other moves that the Texans made where they gave up picks were a fifth-round pick surrendered to New England to move up two spots for Ben Tate and a sixth-round pick dealt to Denver for starting center Chris Myers.

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While trading up for Patrick Peterson does make an angle of sense in that the Texans front office is probably playing for their jobs this offseason, I think it would be pretty unprecedented compared to business as usual for this staff. And Bob McNair is all about maintaining the status quo, so I doubt that changes any even under pressure.

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