Houston Texans: The Player That Will Change The Entire 2014 Draft

By Michael Borth
February 25, 2014 6:51 am
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Heading into this years NFL Draft- the overwhelming opinion was Jadeveon Clowney should be the player all teams would covet and was the clear choice for the Texans at number 1.

Paired with JJ Watt?

Ouch.

Despite questions about work ethic and recent comments by Clowney that the Atlanta Falcons would be a nice landing spot for him- the defensive prospect was off the charts.

On Monday, Clowney ran two 40-yard dashes that were unofficially hand-timed at 4.47 and 4.48, and officially timed at 4.53 on an electronic clock. All were best among the defensive linemen and better than many of the wide receivers who ran the day before.

Clowney's 40-yard dash was faster than all but one of the times posted by a current NFL starting quarterback-Robert Griffin III- at the combine since 2006, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Johnny Manziel also was a player from his quarterback position that remained at the top of every experts list and should be- if not the first overall player selected- the first quarterback selected.The Texas A&M quarterback ran 4.63 seconds in the 40-yard dash and on his second attempt clocked 4.56 at the NFL Combine on Sunday.

His official time was recorded as 4.68, similar to Andrew Luck  and Cam Newton. He was the fourth fastest quarterback at the combine, behind Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas, Miami's Stephen Morris and South Carolina's Connor Shaw.

But he is Manziel. And like Clowney- brings baggage the NFL will throw out if it bleeds into a locker room.

And 2 players in Teddy Bridgewater and Blake Bortles have recently linked themselves as possible selections in the minds of experts debating the fate for the Texans and their position in the number one slot.

However-general consensus after the weekend is all 3 quarterbacks compare equally in many ways when each skill is considered: one runs fast, one throws well and one has the measureables.

Neither carries the entire package like an Andrew Luck or even a Manning.

So the Texans are left with 3 possibilities:

Trade the pick, take a defensive prospect with questions or select the passer many are seperated on in opinion of who's truly a franchise player.

What the Texans should do is select the best player overall.

The player that adds instant depth.

The player who in the minds of every expert wow's the socks off you when he's on the field.

The player with the least baggage and greatest ceiling.

And the player that would turn the first day of the NFL Draft on it's ear:

Sammy Watkins.

Watkins ran two very fast 40-yard dash times, unofficially timed at 4.34 seconds and 4.37 seconds.

And in the ACC- Watkins displayed elite speed in 2013. Last year he had 101 catches for 1,464 yards and 12 touchdowns and was the best receiver in college football. Watkins was ready for the NFL right out of college. As a freshman he had  82 catches for 1,219 yards and 12 touchdowns and was just the fourth freshman to be a 1st Associated Press All American, with Herschel Walker, Marshall Faulk and Adrian Peterson.

These abilities paired with Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins-also of Clemson-would instantly translate the Texans offense into one of the leagues most potent-regardless of the quarterback.

Watkins would come into Texans training camp as an immediate starter and legit weapon, providing Houston with much needed firepower and it would also fill the potential hole Johnson will make when he retires- which is near.

Watkins has never dissappointed since his arrival at Clemson.

Clearly he is responsible for elevating Taj Boyd into a top draft pick.

And he could easily make a case for being the best player in this years draft- thus extinguishing doubt over selecting a receiver with the overall number one pick.

The arguement for the Texans to take a quarterback first could easily be argued- but currently the Texans have 2 prospects outside of Schaub that could work themselves into starters already on their roster in TJ Yates and Case Keenum.

Last year Keenum had 9 touchdowns and 6 interceptions- but early on looked the part of a possible starter. Keenum often improvised-like Manziel- and kept many drives alive.

Selecting Manziel would almost equate to the same selection just 1 year earlier.

And experts from Mayock to Kiper to Mcshay all state this years class of quarterbacks all provide legit skills but none seperate themselves from the pack overall.

So the Texans with their second pick could move on a quarterback like AJ McCarron,Logan Thomas or Taj Boyd with the assumption the top 3 have been selected already. None of these project as franchise passers as well, but are not to far from the aforementioned top 3 prospects.

Better still for Houston- wait for the 3rd round to take a quarterback and select a defensive end or corner in the second- clear areas of need as well.

The Texans will get a great player with any of these prospects, which often is the reward for being the leagues worst team the previous year.

And all to often reward comes with risk.

Good thing for many of us is these decisions fall into the hands of GM Rick Smith and owner Bob Mcnair.

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By Michael Borth
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Previous Comments (9)

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7 weeks ago
Michael-what a great article, and a nice tribute to a player (Watkins) that was so much fun to watch. I look for Sammy to be among the league leading receivers in both TD's and yds. gained sooner rather than later in the NFL.
7 weeks ago

By the way- be sure to TWEET and Facebook this to Clemson Tiger Nation!! They should enjoy, hopefully.
7 weeks ago
A little off topic but-I'll be interested to see how Tajh Boyd makes out in the NFL. Was he able to have his success because of his teammates, or did he make them all better? I would guess that like usual, it was a lot of both. Clemson QB's, much like your ND QB's recently, haven't had a whole lot of success in the NFL.
7 weeks ago

Thanks for the read! I think you'd agree that Notre Dame fans, perhaps like Clemson fans?- do not look to see players translate to the NFL. The base would be happy, but otherwise take pleasure that they attended the university. I always look forward to the next level players and will keep an eye out on draft day for those selected. As for Boyd? He should get drafted around the 5-7 round area. It's not that he doesn't translate etc, it's just fact that this years draft is loaded with more talent. If he is the last player selected- he would be a steal. If he was selected in the first 3 rounds- it was equally a good pick.
7 weeks ago
With the current anything-for-a-buck ownership and gross mismanagement of personnel, it would be a shame for Watkins to waste an entire career in Houston like Andre Johnson has done. Manziel is nothing but an over-hyped already-has-been and Clowney is just a more accurately named Mario version 2.0 and the Texans will be happy to have either one of them.
7 weeks ago

@SoTxJoe: You agree with me that the Texans should take Watkins by suggesting he would waste his career there. That implies-I think-he is a great player and perhaps is a better all-around athlete than Football or Clowney. Houston isn't seeking to be 'happy'. They are seeking playoff births and more, and equipping the roster with the best talent is the objective- not who people suggest is the 'best qb' or 'best end'..
6 weeks ago

Watkins would be great for the Texans. The Texans would suck for Watkins. He'd have it worse than Larry Fitzgerald, another great player on a suck team.
6 weeks ago
Watkins is no doubt an amazing athlete. That being said, I can't remember when any team took a WR as the No. 1 overall pick. Especially someone who would start out (at best) as the Texans' No. 3 receiver.

Texans proved last season they need a quarterback desperately. However, if you are going to draft on best player available, you'd be a fool to pass up Jadeveon Clowney. Otherwise Houston should try to trade out of the pick.
6 weeks ago

Megatron was #2 overall. Blackmon and AJ Green within the last few years came in close to the top and in the top 5 considering Luck and RG3 went ahead of Blackmon- he was close. The point is- this years draft is talent stacked from top to bottom. The Texans have mixed messages at the qb slot since Football and other have yet to be stamped by any expert as a franchise qb. But they have needs all around. Selecting Watkins isn't going to break the team, nor will it automatically lift them to Super Bowl status. It will instantly provide them with the best weapon in the draft on the offensive side of the ball, and easily the best athlete overall with Clowney- who by the way has baggage.

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