There are plenty of quarterbacks the Houston Texans can pay $11 million for the 2014 season. But there's only one top pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. The Texans have that pick, and by trading Matt Schaub to the Oakland Raiders for a late-round pick in this draft, they're all but confirming they will select a quarterback.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 21, 2014
Unless, of course, they don't.
The hype surrounding the accepted top quarterback prospects in this draft has cooled quite a bit after the Pro Days of Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater and Central Florida's Blake Bortles. It's possible the latter had the upper hand anyway, and (remember not to trust anything you hear this time of year) Bridgewater allegedly had a sour enough Pro Day teams allegedly soured on him.
And yet, the Texans trade away their quarterback of the last seven seasons to Oakland, of all places. A team that's acquired nearly every veteran free agent quarterback available over the last three seasons.
Perhaps it shows more the Raiders don't like what they see out of the prospects. They sit on the fifth pick in this draft, and it seems very likely one of the three would be available at that spot. Getting Schaub on something of a rent-a-player deal gives them the chance to look into the second round for a passer to groom for the future.