After a very disappointing 2013 season, the Houston Texans have the first pick of the 2014 NFL Draft. They have an obvious need at the quarterback position, but the most talented player in the class is defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. While Clowney is an absolute stud and pairing him with former NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt would make for a pass rushing duo like nothing we have ever seen before, I think the Texans need to fill their quarterback position and take the talented, yet controversial, Johnny Manziel.
In an interview with John McClain of the Houston Chronicle that was released on Friday, Manziel basically dared the Texans to take him with the first pick. When talking about if the Texans do not select him and he ends up being drafted third overall by the QB desperate Jacksonville Jaguars, who play in the AFC South with Houston, Manziel said, “It would be the worst decision they’ve ever made, I’d be in the same division playing against them twice a year.”
I agree with Manziel in this case. The way I look at it, the Texans can go one of three ways with this first overall pick. First, they could take Clowney and instantly have one of the best pass rushes in the game. I do not hate this idea, but quarterback is the most important position in professional sports and the Texans simply do not have anybody who is even a league average starter at the position. There are quarterbacks in this class worthy of the first overall pick, and the Texans simply must address the position. As tempting as pairing Clowney and Watt must be, I think the Texans are better off going with a QB.
Another realistic possibility would be taking former Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who is probably the safest QB in this class. Bridgewater has been the consensus top QB in the class for sometime now, and while he is extremely likely to be a solid starting QB for many years, he simply does not have very much upside.
I think Manziel is the best pick for the Texans here. They are obviously in need at the quarterback position and Manziel is the best playmaker at the position in the draft. Some have concerns about his size at the next level, but at a solid 6-feet, he is the same size as Drew Brees, and two inches taller than Super Bowl champion Russell Wilson. He did have off-the-field issues when he was at Texas A&M, but it was really nothing more than partying and spending time with high-profile people. I think the off-the-field stuff was completely overblown, and Manziel is a very driven player who will work hard for his team.
Nobody can deny Manziel’s playmaking ability. He has the speed, athleticism and instinct to move out of the pocket and extend the play at any time, and that is becoming a more useful skill in the NFL by that day. Manziel also has great arm strength that will instantly translate to the NFL. Simply put, Manziel has much more upside than any other QB prospect in this draft, and he is local kid that would be driven to lead the Texans to the promise land.