I wrote a fan post a while back about a scenario in which we traded down twice and came away with Jake Matthews at OT at #9 and a couple additional 2nd round picks. I still believe that trading down and aquiring more picks is our best option; and yes, I do feel that it can be done. The notion that St. Louis is likely to trade down, and yet, it is impossible for us to find a partner is weak. We just have to accept less than St. Louis wants for #2 from a team that is in love with one particular player. But, assuming we don't trade down, then what?
Almost everyone has us taking Clowney at 1.1, and there are far too many people out there whose opinion I respect (yes, that includes all the Clowney supporters on BRB too) for me to dismiss that notion as a bad idea or wasted pick. If Clowney wears a Texans Jersey, I will certainly root for the guy, but I might not be one of the first to run out and buy his jersey. I will hope for all that talent to be molded by the Texans coaching staff along with Mr. JJ Watt, and maybe he's the next Lawrence Taylor and our Defense is the next 85 Bears.
However, for the purpose of this post, I would simply like to discuss what I would like the Texans to do if they can't find a trade partner and don't want to risk the #1 on a QB. Sammy Watkins would certainly be an option here, but WR seems to be one of the few positions of strength for 2014, and I think we'd all ask the question; "Who's going to throw the ball to that stacked set of receivers?" Not to mention, "What good will those recivers do us with a QB that is running for his life with __________ at RT and __________ at LG?"
Khalil Mack would fill an obvious need at OLB, and some say he's as good as Clowney rushing the passer and much better at dropping back in coverage. He'd be a better fit in the traditional 3-4, and a few draft experts say he should be the first pick anyway. Ok, by a few draft experts, I mean there's Mayock and there has to be at least one more right??
So I tried to envision each of these options as the Texans pick at #1, and I'm going to declare my first option (for now, that is) to be Greg Robinson (6'5" 332 lbs). They have a nice evaluation of him at http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1824809/greg-robinson , but everything I've read about him says about the same thing - He's a BEAST. He's a mover, a shaker, and a difference maker. He's exactly what I'd love to have in a RT for the Texans, and I'm pretty sure whoever ends up playing QB here would appreciate the big fella too. By all accounts, he's a good guy, a hard worker, AND a dominant athlete as well. The only criticism of Robinson is that he doesn't have a lot of experience in pass protection, but no one says he doesn't have the tools to get that down too - in his first season.
Some people will say that's too high of an investment for a right tackle. Those people should rewatch every Texans game from the last two years and focus on that position. It affected the passing game, the running game, injuries, and the play calling too. There was a time when we might actually run on third and short, but not last year. Play action used to work for us because of the run threat. Greg Robinson could change that. With one single (high) draft pick, we could have a dominant offensive line. Players that would have competed for the RT position can possibly complete for the LG spot, or they can provide depth as one of the back ups.
Reports are that Duane Brown came in heavier this year in an effort to get back to his previous form. I am a big Duane Brown fan, and I hope this is true, but the fact is he had a down year last year. Let's all hope it was only a down year and not a downward trend. Greg Robinson could be insurance for that unfortunate possibility, along with the possibility of injury to the left tackle position.
They say the 3 most important positions in football are the QB, the guy who gets the QB, and the guy who protects the QB. With the stock of the "Big 3" QB's in the 2014 Draft class dropping like main characters from Game of Thrones and the questions surrounding Clowney's work ethic and scheme fit, I say let's draft Greg Robinson and build this team around a killer offensive line. As much as I love the idea of having a great defense (and I still want one of those too), it is a beautiful thing to watch when a team is able to dominate the line of scrimmage and exert their will with the running game.