5 NFL Draft Prospects Who Would Be Instant Starters for Houston Texans
Houston Texans Need to Make Major Chagnes During Offseason
After compiling a 2-14 record during the 2013 NFL regular season there is no doubting that the Houston Texans have a lot of needs to fill prior to the 2014 season. Glaring positional needs include a quarterback, help on the offensive line, defensive line, a running back and a cornerback. All in all, there may not be a single player outside of J.J. Watt, Andre Johnson and Duane Brown who is entirely safe from having competition come in to challenge for a job.
Of course massive changes tend to happen after a team ranks 31st in points for per game and 24th in points allowed per game as it is hard to believe many are indispensable when the entire team is as brutally bad as the Texans were in 2014. This gap in team wide talent leaves new head coach Bill O'Brien with a lot of work to do before training camp begins in late July, and having the first pick in the 2014 NFL Draft will provide an early opportunity to take a dent at the team's issues.
As a first year head coach at the NFL level, this draft will likely determine exactly how successful O'Brien is as a head coach and by extension whether or not the Texans are able to turn things around after the organization's worst season in more than five years. Additionally, it means that the coach will be looking to bring in players who fit his mold of football which looks likely to be a traditional pro style offense and physically imposing defense. Restocking this level of talent to O'Brien's liking will be much easier because of the fact that the Texans have the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming draft.
With this great draft position in mind, I have formed a list of the five available prospects who would be instant starters in 2014. Each of these selected players would fill a glaring need and hole in the Texans roster, are immensely talented and have the potential to start not just for one game during the upcoming season, but all 16.
5. Kelvin Benjamin
Kelvin Benjamin is a behemoth of a human being which helped make him Jameis Winston's favorite target during the 2013 season. Additionally, Benjamin also has speed and quickness that belies his 6-foot-5, 235-pound frame and makes him a threat to line up anywhere on the line of scrimmage from the outside to the slot or even possibly at tight end. This versatility would make Benjamin a great option for O'Brien to have and would be a must pick up if available at the beginning of the second round.
4. Jack Mewhort
Standing 6-foot-6, 306-pounds there is little doubting Jack Mewhort is a behemoth of a human being. Additionally, after watching him guide an offensive line at Ohio State that ranked No. 5 in rushing yards per game in the nation and was generally dominant, it is clear Mewhort knows how to play football. With Duane Brown already entrenched at left tackle, Mewhort would easily slide into right tackle for the Texans and should be available at the beginning of the third round.
3. LaMarcus Joyner
LaMarcus Joyner was one of the best cornerbacks in college football in 2013 as he picked up 5.5 sacks and two interceptions. While he is only 5-foot-8, 190-pounds, Joyner has the mix of quickness off the ball, killer instinct and strength to be a force on a NFL field. Size may limit his overall potential, but the Florida State alum has the potential to start at either cornerback or safety and would be a steal at the top of the second round. Somehow I believe that O'Brien would find a way to get the most out of Joyner's talents.
2. Jadeveon Clowney
Jadeveon Clowney was a bit of an enigma at South Carolina this past year as he took snaps, drives and even games off. Still, his physical tools are off the charts, and there is a good case to be made that the 6-foot-6, 274-pound defensive end will be a superstar in the NFL if he wants to. If the Texans draft him No. 1 overall he will be a guaranteed starter, and it would be mighty scary to see Clowney coming off one end and J.J. Watt coming off the other.
1. Johnny Manziel
Johnny Manziel may not fit the mold of drop back, pro-style quarterback for some people, but after watching him play I am convinced he can sling the ball with the best of them. During the 2013 season Manziel showed actually preferred throwing the ball over running it, and his totals of 4114 yards, 37 touchdowns and 69.9 percent show he was the class of college football. Of course this doesn't always translate to the NFL, but Manziel has the accuracy, arm and guts to make it in the league. His legs will be a plus if he doesn't overuse them, and if the Texans draft the quarterback No. 1 overall he is a lock to start all 16 games.