I'm going to take one last stab at this and then shut up until draft day. I promise. I'll also use it as my platform to dive in to this week's Weekly Webloggers' Challenge.
The question: what should the Houston Texans do -if- they decide not trade the #1 pick. Draft Vince Young or Reggie Bush?
Let's just take this from a player evaluation standpoint. Do you want to take your chances drafting someone like Michael Vick, or would you rather take your chances on someone like Bush, whose more like Jay Berwanger in that he'll be able to do a little bit of everything: rush, receive, return kicks, and so on?
There's an argument for preferring each side, but the caveat is that this is a #1 draft pick. If you're going to spend all these resources on the #1 pick, which you have to do, aren't you better off swinging for the home run and going for Vick? Is the return of investment on someone like Bush, who may not emerge as a total game breaker, worth it? It depends on what you think of Young, but if you're as high on him as most of us are, swinging for the fences seems logical.
You hear rumblings and grumblings from people about Vince and the NFL combine. He won't throw. He might not be Marilyn Von Savant. He throws like a black Bernie Kosar. 1) Did you see the Rose Bowl? You know that USC team that was loaded with NFL-caliber talent? Did they have -any- success stopping Young? Any at all? 2) Do any of the top players go and sit in the window for the scouts like Harlan Ellison? Of course not.
But forget all that, for a moment. We know Houston wants to win football games, but even that, we should be careful to remember, is a means to an end. What end, you ask? Making a profit. The Houston Texans football franchise is a for-profit business. And Vince Young would make Houston a -lot- of money, even if he never takes them to the playoffs. More money than Reggie Bush would if he helped get them to the wild card.
Why? Vince Young would instantly be the most popular athlete in Houston, if he isn't already. He'd make fans like me instant Texans fans. I'd feel a bit like Mandy Pepperidge from Animal House. Sure I'd be a Steeler on the outside, but how much could I hide my true feelings for Otter, err... Vince? I don't know that I could. I thought no one would ever replace T.J. Ford on my list of Favorite UT Athletes, but Vince set a new standard.
In the end, the Texans have a pretty difficult but (in my view) simple choice. Do we trade the #1 pick for multiple picks to fill our many gaping holes? Or do we make the soundest business decision we could make in bringing Vince Young to Houston? I can understand choosing the former, but in the case that they keep the pick, I will never understand choosing the latter. And don't think Houston Texan fans will soon forget. If Vince Young becomes the Hall of Fame quarterback that Mack Brown says he can be, the Texans ownership and braintrust will get tried and thrown out the window like the Second Defenestration of Prague. And I doubt there'll be any dung to break their fall.