Houston Texans Won’t Take a Quarterback in 2014 NFL Draft
We can stop the chatter about a quarterback being the number one overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, it is the “prevailing thought around the league” that the Houston Texans will do something other than select a passer with the #1 pick in this year’s draft.
According to Schefter, the Texans are widely expected to “take a defensive player or look to trade out”. Naturally, the thought of the Texans passing on a top-level quarterback has the focus shifting to South Carolina pass rusher, Jadeveon Clowney. Long assumed to be the best overall prospect in this year’s crop, Clowney had seen his draft stock dip due to need and the fluctuating stock of other prospects around him.
It appears we might finally end up where we started from in the first place.
If the Texans trade down, it’s anyone’s guess what happens. Trading down could involve a plethora of picks and would undoubtedly completely shake up the entire first round of the draft.
That doesn’t appear to be the most likely scenario, however, as the Texans have been said to be very high on Clowney from the beginning. In fact, Clowney recently put an end to his private team workouts, signaling for some that he already knows he’s going to Houston with the first pick in the draft.
Then There Was Khalil Mack
Of course, just because the Texans might opt to beef up an already talented defense doesn’t necessarily mean Clowney is their man. An athletic freak with size and athleticism for days, Clowney also comes with some red flags when it comes to pure football skill-set and dedication to becoming a great football player. There have been clear signs that he does not have a relentless motor, will take plays off and won’t always play hurt.
If Houston sours on Clowney, they could turn their focus to Buffalo pass-rusher Khalil Mack, who is arguably just as athletic and versatile as Clowney, and might actually be the better overall prospect. Mack didn’t face competition anything close to what Clowney did on a regular basis, but he did perform on an elite level when he did, and seems to always be making a play when on the field.
Unlike Clowney, he is relentless in pursuit, uses proper angles and leverage when shedding blockers and appears to be a much more diverse player in terms of what he can bring to the table.
What About Johnny Football?
All of this talk about the Texans and a defensive player makes enough sense, but what if the real trick up Houston’s sleeve is to get some other team that is infatuated with Clowney and/or Mack to trade up? It was only two years ago that the Washington Redskins mortgaged their future to land Robert Griffin III, so if the right team comes calling, why not trade down and acquire more picks?
It could be the preferred move for rookie head coach Bill O’Brien, who might be more concerned with simply adding as much new talent as possible, rather than getting just one guy who might be a future Hall of Famer. In that same breath could be Johnny Manziel and the other top shelf passers in this draft.
With several teams reportedly starting to cool on taking a passer early in the draft, the Texans could play the odds and kill two birds with one stone: trade down and acquire more picks, while still landing Manziel or another top passing prospect.
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