Every team in the NFL draft will have a short list of players they’re likely to take. Who are they for the Houston Texans and what can be expected with each pick?
Blake Bortles – The AFC South would become known for comebacks
At present Andrew Luck is the quintessential comeback kid in the AFC South division, already on a blistering pace to break the record currently held by none other than the man he replaced in Peyton Manning. If Houston were to draft Blake Bortles out of UCF, they would ironically get a player similar in build and body type to Luck. He’s big at 6’5″, can move inside and outside of the pocket, has a big arm and good smarts. What separates him from others though is how dangerous he becomes late in games. His 2013 season for the Knights was pockmarked by several instances of late-game heroics. Landing with the Texans could turn the South division into Comeback Central in the AFC.
Jadeveon Clowney – J.J. Watt would eventually break the single-season sack record
Why should it surprise anybody that the Texans are at least considering Jadeveon Clowney? The South Carolina defensive end might be the most talented player to come out of college in the past ten years and has the makings of a dominant pass rusher. Who wouldn’t be giddy at the idea of putting him across from J.J. Watt, arguably the best current pass rusher in the league? What would happen, provided head coach Bill O’Brien can coax the most out of Clowney is that in the very near future the mere presence of himwill allow Watt to finish what he started not too long ago by breaking the single-season sack record of 22.5 held by Michael Strahan. Then the question will become whether the record stands for very long with Clowney likely to draw his fair share of double teams across from Watt.
Khalil Mack – Houston would lead the league in turnovers
Probably the dark horse for the Houston Texans heading into the draft is outside linebacker Khalil Mack. While not quite as buzz-worth as Bortles or Clowney, the Buffalo star might be a better overall fit for the team. The reasons lay in what he can do. Rushing the passer is of course priority one and Mack can do that almost as well as Clowney. However, where he separates himself is in his versatility. Covering the run and dropping into coverage and also parts of his game where he excels. Mack is one of those rare types that stays on the field for every down and is a danger whenever the ball is in his area. Having that kind of presence can often create confusion for an opposing offense, leading to mistakes. That is why if Houston were to bring Mack in on an already good defense, the Texans would jump to among the league leaders in forced turnovers.
Please feel free to offer your own opinions on what drafting each player would do for the Houston Texans.