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Mock trade: Tony Romo's retirement makes Lions, Texans potential draft day trade partners

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Houston needs a quarterback and they may have to move up to get their guy.

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, I took a look at what the Lions could expect in return should they move off of their pick in the first round. After the news of Tony Romo’s retirement broke early Tuesday—but before he could take Phil Simms’ job at CBS—the internet got hot with plenty of ideas to solve the Houston Texans’ problem at quarterback.

Here’s another scenario that could be beneficial for both the Lions and Texans, but first, this:

**Chumbawamba plays sheepishly**

Even on Lake Erie, you’re never gonna keep him down.

Houston Texans

In 2017, the Houston Texans won a playoff game, and that’s not all that shocking.

In 2017, Brock Osweiler won a playoff game, and that will forever be shocking.

While the first wave of free agency was subsiding, the Texans decided to make the biggest transaction of the entire offseason:

And just like that, exactly one year after signing a four year, $72 million deal to be the franchise quarterback for the Texans, Brock Osweiler was shipped out to Cleveland. Houston was so desperate to hit reset, they gave up a second round draft pick in 2018.

By doing this, the Texans threw their hat into the “We need Tony Romo to be our quarterback, to hell with his back surgery and being almost 37” ring. It’s clear that Houston views themselves as contenders and the final piece to their puzzle is a quarterback. In total team defense, Houston finished eighth in DVOA in 2016, which means, yeah, they were pretty good defensively. The loss of A.J. Bouye in free agency will be a tough pill to swallow, but the prospect of getting back J.J. Watt, the hardest working player in the history of professional football sports, and putting him across from the Jadeveon Clowney of last year is a pretty damn terrifying thought.

Mock trade

  • Houston trades No. 25 and No. 89
  • Detroit trades No. 21

Houston might have to play this draft board pretty aggressively if all of their attention is squarely set on acquiring a quarterback, and especially so if they’ve become enamored with one particular player. Moving up to where the Lions are picking—No. 21 overall—might not be a big enough leap to get the player they covet—whether that be DeShaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes, DeShone Kizer or Mitchell Trubisky.

But, moving up four spots to get to 21 for Houston is a lot less costly than a team like Cleveland or San Francisco looking to reenter the gravitational pull of the first round. Looking back at the past five drafts, the cost for moving up at the end of the first round is usually an additional third round pick. In 2016, Denver paid picks No. 31 and No. 94 to Seattle for the No. 25 overall pick in order to move up and take Paxton Lynch. In 2014, Cleveland traded No. 26 and No. 83 to get to Philadelphia’s No. 22 slot to select Johnny Manziel.

If Detroit was interested in acquiring more picks, they could ask for No. 25, No. 130 and No. 142 instead of the trade outlined above, but most would tend to agree that the value of an additional third round pick in this draft would be a more appealing offer.

With that being said, to the mock!

Fanspeak simulation

Credit: Fanspeak

This is actually the best mock draft that’s ever been mocked, so I think this is the last one I’ll publish.

Drink it in, man.

Lions need a linebacker? How about one of the most athletically gifted prospects for his position ever in T.J. Watt?

Detroit can’t sit around and wait to see if Anquan Boldin wants to come back? Carlos Henderson in the slot is an absolute terror:

I counted at least four missed opportunities to slow down Henderson here.

Gareon Conley, Derek Rivers and Tedric Thompson are all incredible values—and entirely unrealistic—where they were taken. All of them are more than deserving of being drafted at least a round earlier than where they ended up being selected. If Kent Platte’s latest mock draft was an exercise in “worst case scenario” then consider this a slightly plausible best case scenario.

Bold prediction

Plenty of teams could be interested in a quarterback in the top half of the draft, and it’d be pretty surprising to not see at least a couple off the board when it’s time for Houston to make their pick. When all is said and done, I think all four of the big names people have become familiar with are off the board at the end of Day 1: Trubisky, Watson, Kizer and Mahomes. If Houston wants to address their most important need, trading up might be in their best interest.