It’s a toss up as there are so many different possibilities that they can go with here. Ultimately, I believe that they should draft Jadeveon Clowney. For the longest time I thought that they should have went quarterback, but with the way the quarterbacks have dropped, I think they can get a pretty good one on day two. Draft Clowney now to pair him with Watt. They have to face Andrew Luck twice a year and with the Jaguars possibly bringing in a young quarterback, the added pass rush will greatly benefit Houston.
The Houston Texans biggest need in this year’s draft is undoubtedly at the quarterback position, and this team is a good playoff team when they have a legitimate franchise quarterback at the helm (you know, Matt Schaub before he imploded last season). Teddy Bridgewater is the best and most polished quarterback in this year’s draft class, and it would be a gamble for the Texans to wait until the second round to take a quarterback, because that’s banking on the reports of the other QBs slipping being true (specifically the QBs the Texans are targeting, because chances are they don’t like every top-rated QB in this year’s draft class).
At the same time, though, the Texans could maximize their talent by drafting an elite playmaker on defense like Clowney or Mack at No. 1 and then scooping a top QB in round two. Though there are plenty of rumors circulating that Teddy Bridgewater will be taken in the 20s, the possibility remains of him slipping into the Texans hands at 33. Of course, the Texans are also reportedly more interested in trading the 33rd pick than the 1st pick, though there are conflicting reports on that as well.
With all the misinformation floating around, what should the Texans do? The bottom line is that the Texans should ideally look to shop the first overall pick at a good price, as there’s no point in short-changing themselves just because the draft is deep. But trading the first pick has more benefits than simply gathering extra picks, even if it means losing out on Clowney or Mack. Let’s say the Texans are able to trade with the Atlanta Falcons to secure the sixth pick and get fair value out of the deal. The Texans can then gauge the market to see what other QB-needy teams (the Cleveland Browns and Jacksonville Jaguars) do before making a decision, and they can still land a top player like Greg Robinson or Jake Matthews if they choose not to draft a QB.
This strategy has its flaws, though, because it would take the Texans out of Mack-Clowney contention, and the Texans should look to get the most bang out of their buck with the first overall pick. Plus, it doesn’t help them fully gauge the QB market, because what if the Jaguars or Browns take their preferred QB? What if a team picking after them like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Minnesota Vikings, or Browns takes their top QB?
The Texans could be a very good team again if they make the right selection at quarterback, whereas they would still be a ways off before getting back to that level again if they draft Clowney or Mack and aren’t able to land a legitimate franchise QB. Is it worth taking that risk? It’s an incredibly difficult question to ask, but the chances of drafting Marcus Mariota next year could possibly entice the Texans to sit on a QB. Then again, would you waste a year on the chance of drafting Mariota (and who’s to say he’ll be better than Bridgewater or QB this year?) instead of getting a franchise QB this year and having a better shot at competing in 2014. Also, there’s no guarantee that Clowney or Mack will pan out either, even though they have a greater chance for success than a quarterback. But at the end of the day, I think the Texans have such a big need for a quarterback and view Bridgewater as fully worth the No. 1 pick, so I would be totally fine with taking him, Clowney, or Mack at No. 1. It all depends on which gamble you want to take, and gambling against a QB doesn’t seem to be a winning strategy in most cases. So if you put a gun up to my head, I would take the quarterback, but I would also see if I could trade down and still get him (the middle-ground in this case).