What Will the Texans Do?
And with the first pick of the 2014 NFL Draft…
The Houston Texans have many options. Some think they will trade the pick, take the best player in the draft, or take a quarterback for new head coach Bill O’Brien to mold.
A few things can happen if the team trades down in the draft, such as acquiring more draft picks. If the organization’s priority is to build the team as a whole, this could be a very viable option for them.
Some potential buyers for the first overall draft pick could be the Atlanta Falcons or the Buffalo Bills.
The Falcons currently hold the sixth overall pick. After coming off a disappointing 4-12 season, it is very possible the 2012 NFC South champs are looking to find their “wow” factor, and one that is effective immediately.
They could want to move up for a strong defensive player like Jadeveon Clowney, or protect their quarterback by picking up someone like offensive tackle Greg Robinson.
Clowney impressed the Falcons in private workouts. He has visited with the team twice in the past two weeks and it has started talks within the organization for trading up to get him.
Falcons quarterback, Matt Ryan, is coming off a career-high 17 interceptions and 44 sacks, so it would not be surprising if the Falcons skipped over Clowney to improve their offensive line and get Robinson.
The Buffalo Bills hold the ninth spot in the draft. After finishing their third consecutive season at 6-10 and their sixth consecutive season in last in the AFC East the organization will be looking to gain a game-changing player.
They are in need of a defensive end so trading up to the number one slot to get Clowney could be possible. His spot on the Bills could create one of the best defensive lines in football, with him playing alongside Mario Williams, Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus.
Buffalo could also take wide receiver Sammy Watkins with the number one pick to give quarterback E.J. Manuel more options downfield.
Trading up for a first round draft pick could come with serious sacrifices, such as losing their original spot in the first round, as well as giving up a first round pick in the 2015 draft. It could mean even more depending on what Houston is looking to trade for.
If Houston were to trade down in the draft, the attention could shift to them acquiring players such as Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack, UCF quarterback Blake Bortles, or even Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron.
The race to get a quarterback this year does not seem as tight as it was earlier predicted. After the NFL Combine, Pro Days and private workouts, it would not be surprising if some of the top five quarterbacks fell to late first round or early second round picks.
Ultimately, the fall of the quarterbacks could benefit the Texans. Houston could trade down in the draft and acquire more than what they sell.
If the Texans decide to take a quarterback at some point in this draft, it will come down to who O’Brien feels he can work best with. Some think it will be the state-grown Johnny Manziel.
The team could go for sleeper quarterbacks like AJ McCarron, who proved his ability to win games throughout his four years in Alabama. Bortles and Teddy Bridgewater are also well-known names in the draft.
Bortles has impressed teams with his private workouts. He has thrown accurately and has great height for the position. Unlike Bortles, who has progressed throughout the long pre-Draft process, Bridgewater has not been wowing teams. His inaccurate throwing arm downfield has left coaches questioning his potential in the NFL.
If Houston is not able to make a deal with other teams to trade the pick, having the number one pick in this draft isn’t all too bad either.
If the Texans chose to take Clowney with the first pick, they could play him with J.J. Watt. This would be a dangerous double threat to any team. The first pick could also leave Houston with the option of any quarterback they want.
Houston was coming into the 2013 season as a serious Super Bowl contender. In 2012 they won their division with a 12-4 record, but lost to the New England Patriots in the divisional round of the playoffs. The 2013 turned out to be a shocking disappointment after finishing the season at a dismal 2-14.
With a new head coach and good positioning in the draft the Texans look like they could go back to their winning ways very quickly.