The Houston Texans have been here before.
Going into the 2014 NFL Draft on May 8th, the Houston Texans are on the clock. Eight years removed from their 2006 number one overall selection of North Carolina State’s Mario Williams, and twelve years since choosing Fresno State’s David Carr back in 2002.
David Carr was the Texans selection in their expansion year of 2002. At that time, it made sense to start the franchise with a quarterback that could fit the bill and hopefully lead your organization for the next ten plus years. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out well for the Texans, and they passed on a chance to draft Ex-Tarheel and current Packer Julius Peppers.
Fast forward to the 2006 NFL Draft. The Texans were in a win-win situation. Sitting atop the draft with their choice of the top talent in college football, including Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush. They were juggling the selection of a pass-rush specialist in Williams, and the offensive fireworks of Bush. At the time, the correct choice was to select “Super” Mario over Reggie, simply because of the need to rush then Colt, Peyton Manning.
The decision for the Texans is eerily similar to that ’06 draft. Today’s choices: Ex-Gamecock Jadaveon Clowney, or Ex-Aggie Johnny Manziel. The Houston Texans NEED to put Johnny Manziel’s name on the draft card ASAP.
Johnny Manziel grew up three hours from Houston, and played his college ball an hour and half from Texas’ largest city. Add that to the fact that Texans love and have the most pride for fellow Texans. Manziel would bring a level of electricity and excitement to the Houston franchise. Long-time starter, Matt Shcaub, is out and its not certain that Case Keenum is the long-term answer at QB. Russell Wilson and Drew Brees have all but wiped out the stigma of 6’0 and under QBs, not to mention the legendary Doug Flutie. Manziel wins games, and will sell tickets.
Jadaveon Clowney is a special talent, but where does he fit within the Texans scheme? The Houston defense finished seventh in Yards Per Game allowed, and eighth in third down percentage, which is damn good. On the other side of the coin, Houston finished twenty-ninth in the league with just thirty-two sacks. Clowney could address those sack numbers, but it will not translate into wins, and will leave you with a gaping whole at the game’s most important position.
There is a mystery, unknown player that has come up to answer the bell for the Texans: Blake Bortles out of Central Florida. The Texans have been down the road of selecting the “hot” quarterback in the draft back in 2002 with Carr. There is no need to revisit that by selecting Bortles as the 2014 overall pick.
The Houston Texans have the opportunity to learn from their recent past and apply it on May 8th. Clowney will be a special player in the NFL, but the best move for Houston is to start printing those #2 Manziel jerseys.