As we watch the 2014 NFL Draft to see if the Houston Texans will trade back up into round one, presumably to target a quarterback, or trade for a quarterback, presumably New England back-up QB Ryan Mallett, let's dig a little deeper on the first overall pick - South Carolina defensive end/outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney.
Pardon the pun, but it is appropriate for Houston to be nicknamed Space City because opposing quarterbacks will be seeing stars when they enter NRG Stadium. Former NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt has been a one-man wrecking crew with outside linebackers, such as Connor Barwin, Brooks Reed, and Whitney Mercilus, struggling to generate pressure. Now, as Watt eats double and triple teams, Clowney will be expected to beat one-on-one match-ups and force opposing offenses to re-think how they block the Houston front seven.
I am going to avoid thinking where Clowney plays because the truth is that defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel should be moving both Watt and Clowney around to exploit their athletic gifts and find great match-ups. That's really what stands in the way of domination from these havoc-wreaking Houston monsters, Crennel's limited creative ability. He has two great toys, so hopefully Crennel is willing to avoid Frank Bush's method of keeping them in their packaging and Romeo really lets loose.
There are still holes at quarterback, right tackle, and linebacker, but no other player in this draft could provide the impact of a 6'5'', 270-pound man who can run a 4.5 40 and push offensive tackles around. At the end of the day, your first rounder needs to be an impact player, especially at number one, and no other player does that better than Clowney.
If Clowney comes in hungry and ready to work, there is no reason why guys like Reed, Mercilus, and Brian Cushing can't pick up some cheap sacks. There's no reason why Houston can't generate pressure with four men and evoke memories of those Super Bowl winning New York Giants teams, who won championships behind a dominant defensive line. This pick has the potential to win Houston championships and that's all you can ask on draft night. Keep it coming, Houston front office, this is a great start.