Ah, the halcyon days of 2014. Your Houston Texans were coming off a disastrous 2013 campaign, a two-win season so wretched that they “won” the first overall pick of the 2014 NFl Draft. Houston had just replaced Gary Kubiak (and Wade Phillips) with Bill O’Brien as head coach.
Obviously, a lot—three winning seasons, two division titles, and a playoff win among them—has happened since then. With the benefit of three years’ worth of actual NFL film, we can now examine how the Texans’ 2014 draft class panned out with some degree of intelligence.
Sports Illustrated has done just that. You can read SI’s breakdown of every team’s 2014 effort here, but this is what they had to say about your Houston Texans.
Best pick: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina (Round 1, No. 1)
Worst pick: Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame (Round 3, No. 83)
There was a lot of angst about the Clowney pick, but it was the right call in 2014 and Clowney’s breakthrough ’16 season hinted at a dominant future. Runner-up for the Texans’ best pick of 2014: RB Alfred Blue (No. 181), who has nearly 2,000 yards from scrimmage. S Andre Hal (No. 216) was a find in the final round. This class also produced Tom Savage (No. 135), the QB holding the top job until Deshaun Watson is ready. TE C.J. Fiedorowicz (No. 65) has 754 yards and six TDs in three seasons. He’s lapping Nix, who has played four games total, all for another franchise.
Two quick thoughts. First, I was head over heels for Teddy Bridgewater in 2014. I understood why a team would opt for Clowney over Teddy, but I didn’t like it and thought it was a mistake. Then, when it looked like Bridgewater might be there for the Texans at the top of the second round, only for the Vikings to jump ahead of the Texans to select Teddy with the final pick of the first round, I was inconsolable. Although Xavier Su’a-Filo hasn’t exactly lit it up for the Texans, the uncertainty about Bridgewater’s future after a devastating injury last summer quells the what-if somewhat.
Second, concerns about his knee aside, I remember being ecstatic when the Texans drafted Louis Nix in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft. It seemed like a dynamite choice at the time. Now Nix is firmly in the conversation about worst draft picks in franchise history. Truthfully, this post is about the only positive memory I have of Nix as a Texan.
How, if at all, has your view of the Texans’ 2014 draft picks changed since they were first selected?