It’s another mock draft. But this time it’s a mock draft with a trade proposal for all 32 teams put together by ex-Grantland (damn, I miss kittening Grantland) and current Mr. ESPN Bill Barnwell. No, his proposed Texans’ trade doesn’t include moving Jadeveon Clowney. He knows something about football, unlike the rest of you mongrels, heathens, and cretins looking to trade one of the league’s best edge defenders.
23. Houston Texans
Texans get: 1-14
Falcons get: 1-23, 2-55
The Texans learned just how dangerous it can be to trade up when they shipped off a future first-round pick for Deshaun Watson and ended up missing out on the fourth overall selection last year. They’re happy with Watson, of course, and general manager Brian Gaine wasn’t around for that trade, but you would understand why the franchise might be wary to make a huge leap up, even if they’re attempting to target a position of need.
With an extra second-round pick from the Duane Brown trade, though, the Texans should consider moving up to grab some desperately required help along the offensive line. Washington has been bringing linemen in for visits, and the Texans might need to get ahead of the 15th spot if they want to draft someone such as Erik McCoy or Jonah Williams. Sometimes, it’s just that simple.
This is a viable trade for a team with two second round picks. I also love the idea of Houston trading Duane Brown for a second and then just using that pick to trade up to take another left tackle again. There will probably be a run on tackles from picks ten to eighteen in this draft. It looks like Houston will be on the outside of the Andre Dillard/Jawaan Taylor/Jonah Williams trio.
I’ll die if they take Greg Little or Cody Ford this soon. If the Texans want to jump up and save themselves from starting either Matt Kalil or Seantrel Henderson, this deal is their best option. If not, they better hope for one to fall.
Remember what I said about Barnwell’s Texans trade not including Clowney? That wasn’t exactly false, but Barnwell does have a Clowney deal as a suggestion for another team.
24. Oakland Raiders
Raiders get: DE Jadeveon Clowney
Texans get: 1-24, 5-140
What’s more complicated for the Texans, though, is coming to terms on an extension with Clowney. I wrote back in February about how difficult it would be to find common ground with the edge rusher on an extension, and after seeing players such as Za’Darius Smith top $17 million per year on deals this offseason, things aren’t getting any easier for the Texans. They can use the franchise tag on Clowney a second time in 2020 and pay the former first overall pick $19.1 million, but he would top a $20 million average salary in free agency, and his camp knows it.
If the Texans aren’t willing to give him a DeMarcus Lawrence-type contract, this would be the right time to make a trade. Coming away with a first-round pick in a draft deep with edge-rushing talent is far more appealing than waiting a year and ending up with a compensatory third-round pick.
One team that would probably be comfortable using a first-round pick to pay Clowney north of $20 million per year would be the Raiders, who would be using the pick they received from the Bears in the Khalil Mack trade to go after an edge rusher with proven success and significant upside. Trading Mack for two first-round picks doesn’t sound quite as bad as trading Mack for Clowney and a first-round pick, and while I’m not sure that’s a great way to make football decisions, I would also be pretending to think that teams don’t think that way internally.
What do you think about Barnwell’s trade proposal(s)? Would you trade Jadeveon Clowney for the 24th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft and a fifth-rounder?