In case the Houston Texans' quarterback play in 2013 didn't tip you off. In case Ryan Fitzpatrick's signing wasn't a signal. And in case the trade of veteran Matt Schaub wasn't the foghorn in the midst of your spring gloom: Texans coach Bill O'Brien said his team will select a signal-caller in the 2014 NFL Draft.
"I don't think there's any question that we'll draft a quarterback in the draft," O'Brien told NFL Media's Steve Wyche at the NFL Annual Meeting.
The first-time NFL coach qualified that declaration, saying he wasn't sure in which round said quarterback might be taken.
"Where we draft that quarterback, I don't think we know that yet," he said. "We don't even know that yet. We're still in the process of studying all of these prospects, and in the process of putting a grade on them and place them where they would be in the draft. And I think that the big thing is it's such a long process."
O'Brien told Wyche that part of the difficulty is there aren't huge differences in talent between the presumed top three quarterbacks and the rest of the prospects.
"I think the thing is, to me, there's not a lot of separation," O'Brien said when asked if any player was worth of the No. 1 overall pick. "And there are more quarterbacks than just three. Obviously the three guys that everybody talks about -- Blake (Bortles), Teddy (Bridgewater) and Johnny (Manziel). They're good players. They've had great college careers.
"But there are other guys out there. You've got (AJ) McCarron. You've got (Zach) Mettenberger. You've got Logan Thomas. You've got (Tom) Savage. You've got (Jimmy) Garoppolo. I mean, I can go right down the list. To me, you've got 10 to 12 guys you've got to do a great job of evaluating and make the best pick possible wherever you pick these guys.
"So, I just see a lot of good quarterbacks. All of the guys have potential, which is a dangerous word, and you're trying to make sure you're doing what's best for your organization -- what fits best for your organization when you make that pick of a quarterback."
A quarterback still makes the most sense for the Texans at No. 1, but they wouldn't be the first team to pass on the need and come back in round two with a signal-caller (á la the San Diego Chargers and Drew Brees).
The interesting thing in O'Brien's comments is less that he admitted the obvious -- the Texans will draft a quarterback -- and more that he views the depth at the position as its most attractive asset.