O'Brien would rather have a veteran over a rookie in almost every case.
It's through this lens you have to view last year's trade for left tackle Laremy Tunsil, for whom the Texans gave up two first round draft picks.
There's also the midseason deal with the Raiders for cornerback Gareon Conley, in which the Texans gave up a third rounder.
And of course, not demanding a first round pick in a deal for DeAndre Hopkins, instead going for a proven veteran and a high-second round pick.
O'Brien wants experienced players, and that's especially the case now, given the state of affairs with the coronavirus pandemic.
O'Brien said Thursday he believes this will be "a veteran type of year" and spoke on the challenges facing rookies in 2020.
"I think it's going to be really difficult for rookies without offseason practicing on the field and being able to do all the things that you do during that five-week stretch after the draft and then training camp," O'Brien said.
"I think that our people in those programs are doing a really good job of communicating with those guys on a daily basis," O'Brien said. "But it is hard because they don’t have the field and they don’t have the weight room. Again, it goes back to my point about this being a veteran year. A majority of your guys are going to have really understand what it’s going to take to be in shape when they do tell us we can play."