Texans list Jadeveon Clowney as a linebacker, not as a defensive end

AP

Jadeveon Clowney, the first pick in the 2014 draft, enjoyed his best season yet in 2016 working primarily as a defensive end. In the first unofficial depth chart of 2017, Clowney isn’t listed as a defensive end. He’s listed as an outside linebacker.

Christian Covington has become starting right defensive end in place of Clowney.

“That’s an early preseason depth chart I guess we have to release,” coach Bill O’Brien said in downplaying the depth chart (as most coaches do this time of year), via John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. “There are a lot of spots up for grabs. . . . I’ll say this: Covington’s doing a good job. He’s a tough kid, plays hard, but we have a lot of guys that we play up front, and it’s definitely a position battle.”

Clowney isn’t listed anywhere on the defensive end depth chart, even though he has been playing both positions in training camp and, as McClain notes, will play both positions in games.

“I love it,” Clowney said of playing two positions. “Moving around is great. The coaches know what’s going on. They put me in the right situation, right place to make a lot of plays. I love it.”

The Texans and their fans will love it if Clowney and Covington and J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus and the rest of the front seven can be healthy and effective in 2017.