Yes, the reason the Houston Texans find themselves with a 2-11 record is because of a decreased play from the quarterback position. Matt Schaub once played well enough to earn a four-year, $62 million contract extension, but just two years into that extension Schaub finds himself sitting on the bench behind one time college standout Case Keenum.
Keenum’s play has been up and down this season, but with the Texans looking to have the No. 1 overall draft pick locked up, they should pass on Teddy Bridgewater and instead focus on making their defense a unit to remember. They already have J.J. Watt on one side of the defensive line; now imagine adding Jadeveon Clowney to the other. Watt has recently emerged as one of the best defensive ends in the NFL, but with the uber-talented Clowney opposite him, the Texans could have a defensive unit that competes with the Seattle Seahawks and Kansas City Chiefs for the title of best in the league.
Clowney has had a disappointing year getting double-teamed by every offense he has faced, but once he makes the jump to the pros and has another All-Pro caliber player opposite him, the pressure will be lifted to allow the 6-foot-6 beast to dominate. The great defenses of the NFL endure time and are remembered even today, and now the Texans have a chance to create the next great pass rushing unit that could make them playoff bound every year for the next decade.
If the Texans do go with Clowney as the first overall pick they still have the quarterback position to worry about. There likely will be a new head coach in town once the season ends, and the real decision for him will be whether to go through the offseason with Keenum as the starter or to look for a talented quarterback early in the draft to go all in on.
After a full offseason as the team’s top QB with Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins as his main receiving threats, any coach should be able to turn Keenum into at least a serviceable quarterback. This is a huge reason why I’m a fan of drafting Clowney first as the Texans could draft a project QB later in the draft and try to ride out the Keenum train in 2014.
Some of the quarterbacks the Texans could target later in the draft include David Fales, Logan Thomas, and now Zach Mettenberger and Aaron Murray due to injuries. Targeting Mettenberger or Murray would be more ideal as they wouldn’t have the pressure to start right away, and Keenum would be given a legitimate shot at leading this team without a rookie breathing down his neck.
While drafting Bridgewater would set up this offense to thrive for years, Keenum has looked the part of a starting quarterback this season and should be given another chance in 2014. The Texans need to take advantage of their chance to upgrade an already stout defensive unit by drafting a rarely seen talent in Jadeveon Clowney.