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Thread: McClain: Clowney may be safe bet, but Texans should pick a QB

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    McClain: Clowney may be safe bet, but Texans should pick a QB

    Clowney may be safe bet, but Texans should pick a QB
    By John McClain
    April 3, 2014 | Updated: April 3, 2014 10:56pm

    Let me preface this by pointing out that at this time in 2006, I predicted the Texans would use the first pick in the NFL draft on running back Reggie Bush.

    That means everyone predicting the Texans will draft defensive end Jadeveon Clowney probably will be right.

    But I'm still predicting a quarterback, as I have been since the day the 2013 season ended. I believe they'll select Blake Bortles or Johnny Manziel.

    It doesn't matter what anyone outside Reliant Stadium thinks they should do. The only three opinions that matter belong to owner Bob McNair, general manager Rick Smith and coach Bill O'Brien.

    The Texans have a desperate need for a quarterback. They're coming off a 2-14 season, and they must generate some life into a carcass that's been picked apart. Nothing revitalizes an organization like a quarterback drafted in the first round.

    I don't think the Texans will reach on a quarterback. I believe by the time the first round starts on May 8, they'll have one of the quarterbacks ranked high enough to justify the pick.

    O'Brien and Smith insist they haven't made up their minds, and I believe them. They don't care about selling tickets or pleasing the experts who tell them what they should do. They're going to take the player they believe will have the biggest impact on their organization.

    There's still a lot of time left in the evaluation process. With the conclusion of the significant pro days, there remain private workouts on college campuses and private meetings at team headquarters.

    Everyone who has followed O'Brien's coaching career says he loves tutoring quarterbacks. They say he's an excellent quarterback coach. This better be the only time he has his pick of every quarterback prospect in the land.

    Some say the Texans should take Clowney in the first round and a quarterback in the second.

    Fine, but who?

    Drafted on potential
    Some point out that Russell Wilson (Seattle), Colin Kaepernick (San Francisco) and Nick Foles (Philadelphia) weren't drafted in the first round, but there's a difference. Their teams had veterans who were projected as starters. They were drafted because of their potential, not because they needed to make immediate contributions.

    A lot of experts point out there's no Andrew Luck in this draft. Well, there's no Bruce Smith, either.

    When I look at Clowney, I see a smaller version of Mario Williams.

    Hey, Williams has averaged 9½ sacks in his eight-year career. That's pretty darn good, right? Not great, though.

    Clowney (6-6, 266) is an extraordinary athlete with every physical gift scouts look for in the best pass rushers. Many drool when they look at him because of his God-given gifts, and they're willing to give him a pass on a disappointing junior year.

    Williams (6-7, 295) was an extraordinary athlete, too, when he came out of North Carolina State in 2006.

    With the exception of the 40-yard dash, in which Clowney ran a 4.53 at the combine compared to Williams' 4.70, Williams blew him away in every other drill.

    Chasing Luck?
    The Texans drafted Williams to chase Peyton Manning. If the Texans draft Clowney, he'll be chasing Luck.

    Clowney would have to move to outside linebacker in Romeo Crennel's 3-4 scheme, just as Williams made the switch under Wade Phillips in 2011.

    In his first five games playing for Phillips, Williams was off to the best start of his career, with five sacks in five games before he suffered a season-ending injury.

    If the Texans select Clowney to bolster their pass rush, there's a good chance they'll be in the running for another high pick in 2015. And that's OK, because O'Brien has a five-year contract, and McNair's a patient owner.

    The Texans do need another pass rusher. J.J. Watt has been their only legitimate one. If they draft Clowney to play the weak side, Whitney Mercilus would have to switch sides, allowing Brooks Reed to move inside.

    But they'd still have this one problem: quarterback.

    Clowney, who played at McNair's alma mater, is the safe pick.

    But I'm still predicting Bortles or Manziel.


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    Re: McClain: Clowney may be safe bet, but Texans should pick a QB

    And every Ram fan should hope you're right.

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    Re: McClain: Clowney may be safe bet, but Texans should pick a QB

    Yes.

    Because then someone will pay us a nice bounty of draft picks for a player we clearly don't need.
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    Re: McClain: Clowney may be safe bet, but Texans should pick a QB

    BTW, the Rams should say they love Clowney with every fiber of their being, and say 'Of COURSE we'll pick him if he falls into our laps.' Its a simple exercise in maximizing the potential value of the pick - whether they actually plan on drafting him or not. Quite simply, they'd be stupid if they didn't say they'd pick him - and Snead and Fisher aren't stupid.

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    Re: McClain: Clowney may be safe bet, but Texans should pick a QB

    Quote Originally Posted by demiurge View Post
    Yes.

    Because then someone will pay us a nice bounty of draft picks for a player we clearly don't need.
    Sorry to give you bad news. It's not the same draft as 2012 and you won't get a bounty of picks. You may get Atlanta's 37th overall but that's probably as good as it gets. Clowney is worth way more than that....

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    Re: McClain: Clowney may be safe bet, but Texans should pick a QB

    Quote Originally Posted by jerseyramsfan View Post
    Sorry to give you bad news. It's not the same draft as 2012 and you won't get a bounty of picks. You may get Atlanta's 37th overall but that's probably as good as it gets. Clowney is worth way more than that....
    This seems like a very strange position to find yourself in, on one hand arguing how great Clowney is while on the other hand arguing how other teams will not be very willing to trade up for him.

    I agree that the Rams aren't going to get an RGIII bounty because we're not talking about a QB. But if Clowney really is this generational, on his own level kind of prospect, then there should be offers on the table that are good enough for the Rams to take advantage of.
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    Re: McClain: Clowney may be safe bet, but Texans should pick a QB

    Quote Originally Posted by jerseyramsfan View Post
    Sorry to give you bad news. It's not the same draft as 2012 and you won't get a bounty of picks. You may get Atlanta's 37th overall but that's probably as good as it gets. Clowney is worth way more than that....
    I'm curious as to what methodology brought you to this conclusion?
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: McClain: Clowney may be safe bet, but Texans should pick a QB

    Like what? This guys the real deal. If we needed a DE all you guys would be worshiping the ground Clowney plays on. Just saying there is no bounty coming but who cares when you get to take such a special player. But don't worry I don't think the Texans are crazy either...

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    Re: McClain: Clowney may be safe bet, but Texans should pick a QB

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    I'm curious as to what methodology brought you to this conclusion?
    Im guessing you haven't watched any college football over the last two years?

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    Re: McClain: Clowney may be safe bet, but Texans should pick a QB

    Quote Originally Posted by jerseyramsfan View Post
    Just saying there is no bounty coming but who cares when you get to take such a special player.
    Again, I find this position confusing.

    Why is it you think that, despite being such a special player, no bounty is coming from other teams in order to have the opportunity to select him?

    Yes, it's a deep draft where value can be had with later picks, but if Clowney's the type of player you suggest, one in which we'd all fall down and worship him were we to have a need at the position, he should command a pretty solid trade package, no?

    It seems to defy logic, IMO, to wax poetic about how great he is while at the same time claiming teams aren't going to want to give up much to move up and draft him.
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    Re: McClain: Clowney may be safe bet, but Texans should pick a QB

    I tend to think we should be more concerned about Atlanta trading with Houston, rather than worry about the "bounty" of picks we could harvest. What jerseyramsfan needs to consider is the trade value chart for draft picks. I've posted previously that if Atlanta were to move up to #2 they would owe us something like their 1st, 2nd and 5th this year plus another pick next year. That an approximation and my memory isn't recalling the exact picks. Essentially Les Snead isn't giving the pick away easily and he won't "just take an offer", anyone who thinks that is not appreciating the importance of the draft to the Rams this year, or any year for that matter.

    The real thrust of this thread as I understand is what Houston will do with #1 and I believe unless they covet Johnny Manziel, they're likely to take Clowney. That thought is the result of this week's pro day where Clowney lit it up and the media is making a huge deal about it. I think John McLain is right, that Houston needs a franchise QB more than a pass rush specialist. Thus if they really want Manziel, who also had a very good pro day, they'll have to take him early because he's likely to go before #6 (Atlanta). Bortles may be a different story as he may be there at #6. These are important things for us to think about as I'm sensing if he's there at #2, we're taking Clowney. That's not a bad thing at all because despite having Chris Long, Clowney makes our DLine ferocious and will cause OC's & QB's to lose sleep before playing us. That is not the impact player I would have predicted, but that's what we have so we have go that route. Long will find a spot on certain downs at DE or inside at DT. G. Williams has be salivating at the prospect of adding Clowney, it's just a matter of what Houston does at #1.

    Go Rams!

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    Re: McClain: Clowney may be safe bet, but Texans should pick a QB

    Quote Originally Posted by jerseyramsfan View Post
    Im guessing you haven't watched any college football over the last two years?
    Hmm. Even more curious. How does watching 2 years of college football bring you to the conclusion that trading the #2 for the #6 will net only the #37?
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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