After finishing 2013 with a disappointing 2-14 record, the Houston Texans will hold seven draft picks with a chance to improve the club. They’ll hold the top selection in each of the seven rounds, barring any trades they make. What are some strategies the Texans should use going into the draft?
Draft Jadeveon Clowney
Even though there are many people pressing for the Texans to nab a quarterback with the top pick, Clowney is simply too good of a prospect to pass up on. A once-in-a-decade prospect out of South Carolina, the defensive end’s pass-rushing ability will make him a major problem to opposing offenses.
The Texans already have J.J. Watt, by far the league’s best and most feared defensive player in the NFL, due to his ability to get his hands in the quarterback’s face, swat down passes and overpower double teams. Pairing him with Clowney would give the Texans one of the most feared defensive pass-rushing duos in the league.
The thought of these two playing together is just downright scary for any team. With the Indianapolis Colts as the reigning AFC South champions, their key weakness remains the offensive line. The Texans should remember that by selecting Clowney, who could help the Texans bring down their division rival.
Don’t be afraid to trade down
If the Texans take Clowney in the first round, and top quarterbacks Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel and Blake Bortles are all off the board in the first round (in all likelihood,) and the Texans aren’t keen on taking a quarterback with the 33rd pick, general manager Rick Smith should not be afraid to trade that pick in order to receive more later.
After the New England Patriots hosted Bridgewater and Manziel, it’s quite possible the Patriots will look to select Tom Brady’s successor, and that could mean being a trade partner with the Texans. If Houston wants to find a quarterback after the second round, they should deal with any team that is willing to trade two or more draft picks for later selections.
Draft a tight end
The Texans have to upgrade at the tight end position. They did bring back Garrett Graham on a three-year deal, but it is critical that they draft one this year.
Assuming the Texans either select Clowney and then a quarterback in the second round, or take a quarterback with the top pick and miss out on Clowney, the Texans need to take a tight end no later than the third round.
Eric Ebron out of North Carolina and Jace Amaro out of Texas Tech will likely be taken in the first round, otherwise the Texans would be wise to select one of them in the second round if either is available.
Assuming none of them are, the Texans should then look at someone like Austin Seferian-Jenkins out of Washington.
Seferian-Jenkins is 6’6″ and weighs 266 pounds, and his size frame is compared to that of Rob Gronkowski. He’s got incredible hands and athleticism and has the great ability to break tackles for extra yardage. Selecting him would give the Texans another option on the passing game, aside from Andre Johnson.
Texans fans, what would you like to see your team do in the draft? Should they follow these steps? Share your thoughts in the comment section.