2014 NFL Draft: Do Houston Texans Take QB After Locking Up Top Pick?

By Rick Stavig
Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Texans have finally been rewarded for their epic 14-game losing streak by nailing down the top pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. It’s been speculated for weeks now that Houston would have it, and now it’s come to fruition. Who will they take?

This is a no-brainer now. Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater, should he forgo his senior season as expected, will be the no. 1 pick in the draft.

Bridgewater’s status as the top signal caller in the class hasn’t changed throughout the season despite strong competition (at one time) from Oregon‘s Marcus Mariota and UCLA‘s Brett Hundley, and more recently from Derek Carr (Fresno State) and Blake Bortles (UCF). After an outstanding performance against the Miami Hurricanes in the Citrus Bowl, where Bridgewater went 35-of-45 for 447 yards and three TDs (no INTs), his status as the top QB is official.

There should be little doubt the Texans will take him at the top. The golden rule of the NFL draft is that you never pass on a franchise QB when you don’t have one, and that rings true with Houston right now. Matt Schaub began the season as franchise QB and ended it as a pariah due to his incredible consistency at throwing the ball to the opposing defense.

Case Keenum was a feel-good story, being a hometown kid who put up historic numbers at the hometown college and who worked his way up to starter of the hometown professional team after being undrafted. But with all the opportunities he had to convince people he could be ‘The Guy’ moving forward, he never fully capitalized.

It’s apparent that Keenum can be a solid backup, but he’ll never be a franchise QB. In regards to T.J. Yates, the third QB on Houston’s roster, if he couldn’t beat out Schaub and Keenum, so he’s not the guy either.

Who would I pick if I were running the show in Houston? South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney simply because of his once-in-a-generation skill set and versatility. Imagine Clowney and J.J. Watt on the same line. Imagine putting Clowney and Watt inside on passing downs, and rushing Whitney Mercilus and Brooks Reed from the outside. Put him at 3-4 OLB, 4-3 DE, 3-4 DE, 3-tech in a 4-3 — the possibilities are endless with Clowney.

I’d take Clowney at one, then look for either A.J. McCarron (Alabama) or Zach Mettenberger (LSU) at the top of round two.

Still, I’m not the one calling the shots, and you have to take into consideration that there will be a new coach (potentially Penn State‘s Bill O’Brien), who will likely want to start the new regime off with Bridgewater. You can’t go wrong by taking Bridgewater at the top. He’s the safest QB in the class with a relatively high ceiling but a very high floor, meaning he could be very good, but there’s little chance he’ll be bad.

What would really be interesting, though is if the Texans hire a defensive-minded head coach (Lovie Smith, maybe?). Then, it may not be such a slam dunk for them to take Bridgewater.

Rick Stavig is an NFL Draft Columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @rickstavig or add him to your network on Google+.

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