Texans owner denies overruling front office on C.J. Stroud selection in 2023 NFL Draft: 'We don't make the picks'
Texans owner denies overruling front office on C.J. Stroud selection in 2023 NFL Draft: 'We don't make the picks'
Texans owner shoots down C.J. Stroud draft rumor: 'We don't make the picks'

Does C.J. Stroud have friends in high places?After a lot of hullabaloo surrounding Ohio State's C.J. Stroud potentially slipping during the 2023 NFL Draft was for naught, as the Texans took the passer No. 2 overall on April 27. In the weeks leading up to the draft, reports leaked that the Texans were less high on this crop of quarterbacks than the rest of the league, fueling doubts that Stroud would go No. 2 overall. MORE: NFL Draft grades — How did Texans fare in the 2023 NFL Draft?Some conspiracy theorists believe that owner Cal McNair and his wife Hannah McNair made the decision to draft Stroud, overruling the Texans' front office in the process. According to McNair, the duo had nothing to do with it:"Hannah and I don't make the picks. We'll make it clear there," McNair said during a recent charity golf event. "We have a great group of scouts led by Nick [Caserio] and James Lippert, and they did a lot of work on the draft board, and then they followed that on draft day, and they moved up when they saw the value was there and moved back."The Texans had a potential franchise-changing draft by selecting Stroud, but also moving back up to take pass rusher Will Anderson at No. 3 overall. It was a gutsy, pricy move from Texans GM Nick Caserio, which has gotten him both praise and criticism.MORE: Ranking the NFL's QB moves in 2023 — How did Texans grade out for Stroud selection?The Texans traded a future first to move up from 12 to No. 3 with the Cardinals, as well as the No. 33 overall pick in the 2023 draft. That is something of a hefty haul to give up, but both Stroud and Anderson could offer immediate impacts to their offense and defense.After the first round of the draft, Hannah McNair went above and beyond in the praise of the Texans' draft war room — almost in a "There's nothing to see here" type of way:"Were Nick and DeMeco and Cal and everybody aligned? It’s an absolute yes," she said. "They worked through everything together. There were no disagreements. It was all about, ‘We love these guys. How do we get them?’ It was awesome to see the alignment across the board. You don’t see that all the time and it gives me goosebumps when I see them all together. The energy is so magnetic, it’s just incredible."Hopefully the on-field energy matches what the Texans felt during the draft, or else fans may turn their ire to the McNairs come 2023.

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