I’ve been told in the past couple of days that Houston GM Rick Smith is loathe to use so much draft currency to move up from 11 to five or seven to get Peterson (it would likely cost him the Texans’ second-round pick to do so).
Let’s assume the number two corner on many boards, Prince Amukamara, is available at 11. If you’re Smith, you ask yourself: Would I trade Patrick Peterson for Amukamara and any one of three options at positions of need with pick number 42 in the second round — the third wide receiver (maybe Maryland’s Torrey Smith), the first safety (UCLA’s Rahim Moore), or maybe the second running back (Mikel Leshoure of Illinois). That’s a tough question. The gap between Peterson and the next corner would have to be huge for Houston to do that.
Peterson is pretty clearly the best cornerback in the draft, but as we’ve been pointing out here all along, the Texans just don’t have the depth to be giving away second round picks to help fill need positions—they have too many needs to do that effectively and still hope to fill a football team. Particularly with the contract that a Top 10 pick will likely come with.
There remains three things the Texans could look to do today based on speculation: trade up for Peterson, take Aldon Smith at No. 11, or trade down. Trading down may actually be the smartest move on the board there.