Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
INDIANAPOLIS -- Mad Mike, the AFC South Blog's most devoted reader and consistent contributor, jumped on my offer at the start of the combine to chime in with a question.
Paul: I would like to have you ask the Texans Smith or Kubiak about the difficulty in taking the best available player versus drafting for need? It has to be awfully tempting to take a guy that may be rated slightly lower than another player because you have a need at that position when you should clearly take the higher rated player on your board... Thanks.......MM
Mike, I took your question to Texans general manager Rick Smith and here's what he said:
"You assess value. Certain positions have more value to them from a standpoint of how good a player he is and what round you think he should be drafted in. You let your board take you through there. If you draft for need, you're much more inclined to reach.
"What we try to do is affect value by round. And if you find yourself in a position where you have two players who are rated in the same round, and if you've got one at a need position, you do so. If not, you look at the second layer of value, what position might be more valuable at that point. Then you take that player.
"I don't think you should draft based on need because you're more inclined to reach and take a player outside the value you've set."