*As seen on www.acsportstalk.com by Mike Uva
WORCESTER, MA -- With the 1st pick in my 2014 NFL Mock Draft 1.0, the Houston Texans select…
Jadevon Clowney – DE (South Carolina)
After the debacle of a season that the Texans had, there’s plenty of holes to fill. Despite being ranked second worst in the league for pts/gm (17.2), what this pick ultimately came down to was the fact I feel that Clowney will have a greater impact for the franchise in comparison to Blake Bortles (UCF) or Johnny Manziel(Texas A&M). In addition, by adding Clowney, JJ Watt’s presence would be even stronger. Below are my additional thoughts on this pick as well as how this pick will affect Houston next season.
A look at the Houston Texans’ draft history since joining the league in 2002
QB: 6 (1)*
RB: 7 (0)*
FB: 1 (0)*
WR: 9 (2)*
TE: 6 (0)*
OT: 7 (1)*
OG: 6 (0)*
C: 4 (0)*
DE: 7 (3)*
DT: 8 (2)*
LB: 10 (2)*
CB: 11 (2)*
S: 9 (0)*
K: 1 (0)*
P: 0 (0)*
( )* = First round draft picks
For the Texans, this draft is more than just trying to bounce back from their worst record since 2005 (2-14) – it’s about finding an identity. With first year coach Bill O’Brien at the helm, finding an identity will mean deciding to build around key defensive players or start fresh with a rookie quarterback. Despite the dire need for a quarterback, historically, the Texans haven’t had much luck when drafting one. By the Texans signing Ryan Fitzpatrick last week, I'd be shocked if they draft a quarterback with the first overall pick.
Also, with Romeo Crennel being hired as the Texans’ defensive coordinator, his voice will surly be heard. Crennel is no stranger to success, as he led the New England Patriots to three Super Bowl titles when he was the team’s defensive coordinator, and each of those teams identity came from its defense – sorry Brady fans but it’s the truth.
The only way the Texans are going to be able to bounce back, these next couple seasons, is by bringing in a player that will make their stars even bigger. It’s more than just Clowney and Watt playing at both defensive end spots at the same time. It’s the endless possibilities that Crennel will have by constantly moving them all over the line.
At 6-6 274 lbs, Clowney has the size to make an impact on both the inside and outside of the defensive line. The flexibility to move not only Clowney but also Watt would create nightmares for the opposing offensive coordinators. What this ultimately creates is a chess match between Crennel and opposing offenses. Rotating Clowney and Watt throughout the game won’t only create mismatches up front, but it’ll also cause teams to checkout of plays before the snap. This one-two-punch has the potential to change games even before the ball is snapped.
In the past, it was worrying about whether just Watt was playing a 5 or a 3 technique. Throw Clowney into the mix and you're looking at the best defensive line duo in the league. Having Clowney creates more issues because if the two are side-by-side, different twist and stunts can be used, which could ultimately shut down an entire side on the offensive line. When the two are on opposite sides, offenses will have to determine whether or not they want to man or zone block as well as if they're going to tyro to double-team one of them. Mentally, teams will worry so much that they're bound to make a mistake and could get away from plays out of fear.
At the end of the day, Clowney is the most athletic player in this year's draft. With speed, size and strength, he could blossom right away and help the Texans get back into the playoffs. Unless the Texans have something up their sleeves, I can't see them not taking Clowney.
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