With the draft less than two days away, no one knows what the Texans will do with the first overall pick.
“They’ve done an excellent job keeping everyone guessing,” a G.M. from another team told PFT on Tuesday night.
When the Texans last earned the right to start the process by selecting a player, the Texans opted to make an unpopular move in Houston, bypassing both running back Reggie Bush and hometown quarterback Vince Young for defensive end Mario Williams.
It ultimately was the right decision, even though it was believed at the time that Williams would need to become Reggie White in order to overcome the anticipated NFL careers of Bush and Young. The former started slowly and gradually has improved; the latter started quickly and fizzled out.
The Texans now face a similar dilemma. The fans want quarterback Johnny Manziel. The pundits believe defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is the best of the bunch. And the Texans are believed to be seriously considering linebacker Khalil Mack (pictured).
So will the Texans once again ignore the potential fallout and go with Mack?
As one league source explained it last night, the thinking is that the Texans want to trade out of the top spot in order to get Mack at a lower slot, which would: (1) give them the guy they want; (2) get him at somewhat less money; (3) generate an extra pick or two; and (4) lessen the potential for criticism than if the Texans simply take Mack over Clowney or Manziel at No. 1.
Another league source suggested that the Texans are still believed by other teams to be choosing between Clowney and Manziel at No. 1, if they use and don’t trade the pick.
Yet another league source said that, all along, the source believed the Texans would take Clowney or trade the pick to a team that wants Clowney. There’s now a theory, the source explained, that Mack really isn’t a reach at No. 1 — and that Mack in the Houston scheme, not Clowney, could ultimately draw significant comparisons to Lawrence Taylor.
If the Texans do what they did eight years ago, they’ll simply take Mack at No. 1. It will take the kind of guts they showed eight years ago, especially since a division rival once again sits two spots behind the Texans, waiting to possibly pounce on one of the guys they don’t take.