It looks like the Houston Texans will most likely pass up on a quarterback with the first overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft and will either select a top defensive player (Jadeveon Clowney or even Khalil Mack) with that pick or simply trade down. There are rumblings that the Texans will trade with the Atlanta Falcons so that the Falcons can take Clowney with the first overall pick, but I remain unconvinced. This year’s pre-draft talk is filled with even more rumors than usual, and there are three big reasons for this: there are top quarterbacks in this class that have become polarizing, more time before the start of the draft leads to more time for rumors to circulate and smokescreens to run their course, and this year’s draft is a very deep one on paper.
The Texans are expected to draft a quarterback after the first overall pick, and many people believe they will wait until the second round (or could even trade up into the first round with the 33rd overall pick) to get their franchise guy. Eastern Illinois product Jimmy Garoppolo is a strong possibility for the Texans, and ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Texans had him in for a pre-draft visit yesterday. Garoppolo, by the way, is visiting the Cleveland Browns today and also visited the New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans earlier this month.
After trading away Matt Schaub and signing veteran backup Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Texans are fully expected to draft a quarterback high in this year’s draft, but hopefully they can find someone better than Garoppolo. I think he’s a third-round prospect at best, and that’s only because he has solid physical tools and accuracy under a clean pocket. He sees ghosts far too frequently, didn’t read through his progressions in college, has a steep learning curve due to the set-up of his college offense and the level of competition he faced, and he struggles mightily under pressure. Garoppolo is an intriguing option with good positives, but I would hold off on taking him with the 33rd overall pick or higher. The Texans should take a close look at him, though, and it will be interesting to see if they like him as much as the rival Jacksonville Jaguars reportedly do.