If you’ve been reading any of the news from beat writers on twitter this week, you’ve been wasting your time. The day’s leading up to the NFL draft are full of smoke screens, rumors and speculation. As it seems, this is the one time of year that no one is held accountable for outrageous news stories. It’s extremely frustrating for fanbase’s eager to know who is drafting who, luckily the endless rumors will stop as the NFL draft is finally upon us.
Houston’s Eyeing a Star
I’m not sure if the Houston Texans wanted to be perceived as a team that is stuck between a rock and a hard place, but they‘ve certainly backed themselves into a corner with this dilemma over drafting Jadeveon Clowney or trading back to select a quarterback. Drafting Jadeveon Clowney is a luxury pick plain and simple. It’s not a need as the team already has one of the best defensive ends in the game with J.J. Watt. Although, to unite the two players creates a potential to form the most lethal pass rush in the NFL. The down side of course is avoiding a major need and leaving a huge question mark at the quarterback position. The Texans have already sent Matt Schaub to the Oakland Raiders for a bag of footballs and are not sold on Case Keenum who played eight games last year. The Texans added QB Ryan Fitzpatrick this off-season and have him penciled in as the teams current starter. Houston agreed to terms with Fitzpatrick, formerly of the Titans, on a two-year $7.5 million contract. Fitzpatrick is not a world-beater but he is a quarterback who can start and keep an offense moving. Fitzpatrick has bounced around the league but did have a three season stretch in Buffalo (2010-12) where he averaged 3,400 passing yards and 24 touchdowns per season. Fitzpatrick is a capable quarterback, yet he is an insurance piece, not the answer to say the least.
In my opinion, there is no dilemma. The Texans should draft Jadeveon Clowney who is equally deserving of the first overall pick and then use their second round pick to select the best quarterback available. There are a few solid QB’s to choose from, some of which could pan out to be a better fit in the Texans new offensive scheme than the fan-favorite Johnny Manziel.[ad id=”Ad1″]
There is another scenario of course, one that could play out if the Texans were aggressive enough. Houston could draft Clowney first overall and trade up into the late first round using their second overall pick. People seem to forget that the Texans hold the 33rd overall pick, the first pick in the second round, which sounds further away than it really is. If Teddy Bridgewater (or another QB) finds himself slipping down the board, the Texans could easily bundle up their second round pick along with a few other picks to move up into the lower half of the first round. Teams like the San Francisco 49ers have already been rumored to be making a plunge by stockpiling draft picks to move up the board and the 49er’s have the 30th overall pick… just three picks ahead of the Texans second round selection. The end result may have the Texans walking away with Clowney (or Khalil Mack) a late first round QB and a few scrap players from day three of the draft, but getting two potential blue chip starters wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. The problem is I think Johnny Manziel is the player Houston really wants, and there is no way they can land both him and Clowney without trading away a ton of future picks. Many teams are high on Manziel, or at least those are the rumors this week.
If it was me, I would happily take Jadeveon Clowney and a Bridgewater/Derek Carr/A.J. McCarron type quarterback than gamble with a trade or Manziel. The Texans should start eye-balling trade partners in the late first round like the Carolina Panthers or Philadelphia Eagles to move up in the bottom of the first round.