The Houston Texans selected South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney with the first overall pick in last night’s first round of the NFL Draft. They were expected to select Clowney, and he will give the Texans an incredible defensive line that includes both him and superstar J.J. Watt. It’s hard to imagine an opposing team having to gameplan for both players, but we’re about to find out exactly how difficult that is.
Clowney is an absolute physical beast, and is going to be a match-up nightmare for any opposing offensive lineman that he goes up against. His strength and speed off the edge have been well documented, and will make him very effective as a pass rusher. There are quite a few analysts that believe that Clowney has some of the same characteristics and talents that made John Abraham one of the NFL’s best pass rushers in the history of the game.
In three years with the South Carolina Gamecocks, Clowney recorded 130 tackles and 24 sacks. He also forced nine fumbles in his three collegiate seasons, and the statistics alone show that the Texans are getting a big-time playmaker. There is no doubt that the Texans are going to have one of the most fun defenses to keep an eye on this coming season. After the nightmare season that they suffered through last year, this is very welcomed excitement going through the city of Houston.
There are some concerns surrounding the pick of Clowney, especially as far as his work ethic is concerned. He was accused of taking plays off in college at times, and even taking full games off in his final season with the Gamecocks. In the NFL, there is absolutely no place for a player with a lack of heart and effort, so the league will find out very quickly just how much those concerns are a reality. Despite the concerns, there is no doubt that Clowney has the ability to be one of the best defensive players in the recent history of the NFL.
Overall, this was a much needed selection by the Texans. They could have gone with a quarterback at #1, but this pick gives them the opportunity to build their defense up and be one of the best in the NFL in the very near future. We just saw how good defenses can beat the NFL’s best quarterbacks in last years Super Bowl. This was the right pick for the Texans to make, and the future looks bright for the Texans’ defense with Watt and Clowney leading the way.
Jadeveon Clowney Draft Grade: A