2014 NFL Draft: Mel Kiper Mocks Jadeveon Clowney to Houston Texans

Kiper says he's a Texan. - Streeter Lecka

First it was Clowney, then Manziel, then Bortles, then Clowney again, then Mack, and now Clowney yet again...and possibly for good this time. Has the former South Carolina DE's dominant pro day made him a lock for the first pick? Mel Kiper thinks so.

ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper released he latest mock draft today, and this one is a three-rounder. The largest hair in sports television recently mocked Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack to the top spot in mid March, but after the stunning display that Jadeveon Clowney put on at South Carolina’s pro day yesterday, it is hard to imagine any scenario where he is not the first pick off the board.

To reflect that likelihood, Kiper has changed his top pick to the former Gamecock and given Houston Jimmy Garoppolo as the Texans’ quarterback of the future at pick #33. Round three sees Rick Smith add some depth to the cornerback position by picking up Bashaud Breeland out of Clemson.

Here are Kiper’s thoughts on the picks:

Quarterback is obviously a big need, but I'm simply not willing to forgo the high likelihood of stardom for Clowney -- at a critical position no less -- for the risk associated with taking one of the available quarterbacks so high. It's simply too big a leap in terms of value on my draft board. I'm not going to worry about system fit. Romeo Crennel and Bill O'Brien are smart enough to find a way for Clowney to be effective -- and he will be special.

I consider Garoppolo a potential NFL starter, possibly a good one with O'Brien's guidance, and with one star in hand I'll take him ahead of Derek Carr early in Round 2. It's a little ahead of where I have him rated overall, but again, the value associated with the position is factored in against scarcity, and I take my shot.

Cornerback isn't a huge need, but I like value for Breeland there, and it's impossible to have too many effective corners in the NFL of 2014. I think the pick at No. 1 represents not just how special Clowney is, but that this team is too good on paper to be waiting on a rookie to develop on the job. Take one at No. 1, and that's what you get.

What do you think, BRB? Would you be happy with a Clowney-Garoppopotamus-Breeland combo in the first three rounds, or do you have other ideas on your mind?

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