The Houston Texans made DE Jadeveon Clowney the No. 1 overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft after much controversy over whom exactly the team would select between Clowney, QB Blake Bortles and OLB Khalil Mack. Houston made the decision to draft Clowney, and it was the best choice they could have made.
Clowney is an ultra-athletic defensive end who will play outside linebacker in Houston’s 3-4 defensive scheme. Clowney has legitimate 4.5 speed and has better movement skills than some first-string defensive backs in the league. Bottom line: Clowney is a once-in-a-lifetime prospect.
At 6-foot-6, 266-pounds, Clowney is most comparable to DE Julius Peppers — except he’s even better. Clowney has underdeveloped strength, but he is still quite a young player. With time and DE JJ Watt, among others, to push Clowney, any and all questions about his work ethic will be answered.
Stepping in and starting from day one is likely the plan for Houston’s top draft selection. Clowney will start at outside linebacker, but he will have to show that he can transition from a four-point stance in college to a two-point stance in the pros. That being said, Clowney should really have no troubles doing so as he showed off his unique skill set during multiple pre-draft workouts.
The former South Carolina star should have no issues totaling 10 total sacks this season and could even push more towards the 15 sack mark on the year. His pure athleticism, speed and drive will be on display during every single game.
Houston now has quite an athletic pass rush to get after Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck, which will surely lessen the burden on Houston’s secondary. With Watt, Clowney and another young stud in OLB Whitney Mercilus, Houston may have set themselves up for quite a bright future with this selection.
Clowney will ultimately serve as the wildcard for this defense, however. He will be defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel‘s movable piece in which Crennel can move him all over the field to really puzzle the opposing team. It will also allow Clowney to get some different looks and feel like a very important player, which is going to go a long way in developing his maturity level.
This season, the rest of the league gets put on notice: Clowney is coming.