Houston Texans GM Rick Smith recently stated that he knows who the team will be taking with the first overall pick if they don’t end up trading down in this year’s draft, and the popular belief is that the Texans will pull South Carolina Gamecocks star pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney, who has always been the consensus No. 1 prospect, first overall if no good trade offers emerge. Clowney would greatly aid the Texans pass rush, and they could still draft a potential franchise quarterback at the top of the second round (QB is, after all, clearly their biggest need) with the way some QB prospects are falling on the rumor mill.
That said, Khalil Mack has always been a darkhorse pick for the Texans at No. 1, and that horse hasn’t died yet with less than a week before the Texans top pick. Per Rotoworld, ESPN’s Adam Schefter stated on SportsCenter that Mack is still a possibility for the Texans. While it doesn’t look like Mack is the likely pick for Smith, he’s still very much in the mix at this point, and it will be interesting to see if they are high enough on the small-school prospect to take him over Clowney or a top QB.
Mack received no help from his defense at Buffalo, and that makes up for the fact that he mostly played against weak competition. It’s clear, though, that Mack could perform at a high level against top competition, as he was excellent in Buffalo’s game against the Ohio State Buckeyes. Playing on a team where he has to work as hard as possible for every positive play, Mack displays a relentless motor and has all the physical tools necessary. He’s also very versatile on the front seven, so it isn’t inconceivable for him to have a better pro career than Clowney; nobody should be ruling out Mack at this point.