How much has DeMeco Ryans’ arrival impacted the Texans’ draft board?
James Liipfert takes his orders from Nick Caserio.
The Houston Texans assistant director of player personnel and college scouting director works closely with the general manager to ensure they are targeting just the right type of players needed in the NFL draft that can meet the coaching staff’s expectations.
For Liipfert, it is the third straight season where he will be working with a different coaching staff, but so far his job has been to let Caserio be the emissary.
“I’d say Nick does a phenomenal job really being a liaison between the scouting department as a whole and the coaching staff as a whole,” Liipfert said. “Nick, it’s just very natural for him to talk to both those languages. Nick’s ability to say, ‘I’ve been having good conversations with all the coaches. Here’s how we’re adjusting looking at different positions. Here’s how we’re maybe going to look at the receiver position, the running back position. Here are some differences to how we’ve looked at it in the past.’ He’s done a really great job. There are some similarities defensively, but there’s also some differences.”
New coach DeMeco Ryans was hired as coach Jan. 31. Although it seems late in the draft process, there was still time to coordinate with the new staff.
“They got here in end of January, early February,” said Liipfert. “We have plenty of time. It’s not some massive overall where you’re scrapping the whole draft board and you’re starting over. I would say maybe you’re adjusting 15-20% of it. I’d say, 80-85% of it, good football players are good football players regardless of the scheme. Whether you’re playing for DeMeco or whoever, not a lot is going to change.”
According to Liipfert, the only area where Ryans’ new staff may do things differently compared to other staffs is how they assess “mid-round type of guys.”
Said Liipfert: “You got to get on the same page. We give them a list of guys and they go through it. You give them 10 guys and they might say ‘I’m not really feeling these two.’ Maybe we have this guy as a mid-round guy and that guy probably gets bumped down because quite honestly he’s not going to be a good fit. Let’s maybe bump him down to later in the draft. Someone else will take him and we’ll keep it moving.”
The draft is April 27-29 in Kansas City, Missouri.
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