Are Texans in play for Manziel at No.1?


At a time when the decision of the Raiders to host quarterback Johnny Manziel has sparked plenty of speculation that Oakland could take Manziel with the fifth overall pick in the draft, the Raiders may not get the chance to do so.

John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, one of the most respected NFL writers in the country and a guy who is as plugged in to the team he covers as anyone in the business, projects Manziel to the Texans with the first overall pick in the draft.

There’s a tongue-in-cheek quality to McClain’s mock draft (which makes us like it a lot more than most other mock drafts).  In his first projection of the picks, he put Blake Bortles at the top.  And McClain points out that the “experts” currently have the Texans taking defensive end Jadeveon Clowney with the No. 1 pick.

Manziel’s placement at No. 1 will excite Texans fans and confound critics of Johnny Football, some of whom see Manziel falling all the way out of round one.  It also complicates Houston’s eventual decision-making process, since there’s a good chance the Texans could trade out of the top spot and get Manziel later.

But how much later?  If the Raiders want him, the floor would be No. 4.  But it would be a shock if the Raiders take anyone other than someone who will come in and help make an impact right away as a rookie, since G.M. Reggie McKenzie and coach Dennis Allen won’t be around to see what Manziel can do in 2015 if the team doesn’t win in 2014.

Of course, if the Texans trade down they run the risk of someone trading up to get the guy they want before the Texans can pounce.  Which is why the Texans need to continue to keep their true intentions secret.  Although they currently control the board, they need to have the ability to slide down and claim that the player they get in a lower spot is the guy they would have taken at No. 1.

Even if, you know, he isn’t.

87 responses to “Are Texans in play for Manziel at No.1?

  1. Nah, too controversial and hot of a pick, they wouldn’t have the guts to do that even if they rated him as their top QB.

    And that’s how most expert mockers work. They tell you this is how they predict the draft but with the disclaimer that it would go nothing like that if they were making all the picks, but you don’t ever get to see that mock version. That would double their chances of getting embarrassed after the fact.

  2. If the Texans are only QB away from contending, as everyone says, then they’d be foolish to drop back for an extra pick.

    The QB makes/breaks a team these days so if you like one in the top 5, draft him #1 & move on.

  3. They are “in play” for anyone and everyone at No. 1 since they do in fact pick first. No one can jump in ahead of them.

  4. At this time of year, the NFL Draft rumour mill is always in full swing. Probably no one knows for sure at this point what anyone is going to do.

  5. Makes no sense to take Manzeil at #1, Clowney will be the Pick. Texans can get qb to groom with first pick of the 2nd round.

  6. They ignored Vince Young and Reggie Bush the last time they were in the spot and were better for it. They should go Clowney or Matthews.

  7. He is very talented but very high risk. How big a risk taker is Bill O’Brien as a rookie Head Coach?
    There are good marketing considerations because he is embraced by the state of Texas, but the smarter and safer choice is probably Clowney and pick up a good QB prospect a bit later in the Draft.

  8. McClain is brilliant. His expertise also kept a close eye on the Houston Oilers after they relocated to Nashville. And to this day, he’s a regular on Music City’s sports talk radio as someone who knows more about the Titans and their inner-workings it seems than many of the Titans beat writers.

  9. WHO in the world sees “Manziel falling all the way out of round one”??? Whoever it is, they’re insane. After his pro day, with all the amazing film on this guy and the fact that he’s saying all the right things, he won’t fall out of the top 5. There are FOUR teams in the top 5 who DESPERATELY need a franchise QB (HOU is one of them), and this guy’s the best on the board. People are trying too hard to overthink this thing.

  10. If the Texans draft Manziel, and he busts…they would be forgiven. If they DON’T draft Manziel…and succeeds…they’ll never live it down.

    Yeah. He’s in play for Houston.

  11. They’ll sell a ton of tickets. That would likely be the only (short-term) benefit. Manzeil is talented, but the first time he gets cute and starts running in the open field, some linebacker will destroy him.

  12. I don’t know if they are…… but they should be. Camp could be like Seattle….. Fitzpatrick tries to hold off Manziel just as Flynn tried to hold off Wilson. The team and the fans win!

  13. None of the QBs’ are worth a top five pick unless you plan to start him and that would be a plan to risky for most NFL owners and the teams fan base. Clowney, Robinson and Watkins will likely be gone at the #5 pick so the Raiders should get the next best O LINEMAN or Mack.

  14. I wish a coach or GM would give a writer a sealed envelope with their hoped for 3 choices before the draft. Then if they tell the fans after the pick “we had him targeted as our first pick” it would mean something. As it is, everything that happens is just as every team wants it to happen according to news reports after the draft.

    What is the disgrace in saying “the board just didn’t fall as we had hoped”?

  15. Thank god the bengals have their franchise qb in andy Dalton. The nfl should just cancel the season because we just already wraped up the Lombardi trophy

  16. Either something is broken with the system or the flash in the pan of the top 10 over all picks now days is not carrying over to the Pros…..While it’s easy to poke fun at RG3 (and god knows I do more than my share) Houston has been in this position before and David Carr did not get the job done.

    For my money, many first rounders anymore are just hyped up super athletes….not future hall of fame “football players”.

    Hire the kids who have to work harder on the field instead of the media bedazzled stars choosing endorsement deals.

  17. This won’t happen.

    As a matter of fact Vegas needs to come up with an over/under on how many times the camera cuts to Johnny Football looking dejected as he drops throughout the first round.

  18. If the Texans truly don’t feel there is much difference between Clowney, Bortles and Manzeil with respect to making their team better they could simply not pull the trigger and let St. Louis be on the clock. Just stand up there with three slips of paper and when the first two are finally gone hand in the remaining slip of paper.

    I can only imagine the tension in the room as well as the trade offers they might then receive. At the very least they get one of the three guys they had rated best in the draft for their team and only have to pay him at a much lower slot price.

  19. Who do you think McClain would prefer to cover? Clowney who would garner little interest or Manziel, who would generate an enormous amount of hits to any article he writes and could lead to McClain doing a ton of TV interviews and who knows maybe a better job in TV.

    Houston is going with Manziel, there is just too many opportunities/money/initial interest that will come with him, so many people within that organization would benefit from him they would be insane to pass up on him. Now, what happens on the field will be a whole different matter.

  20. As a football fanatic of both College football as well as NFL and a student of the game since 1968, there’s a strong possibility that all three quarterbacks may drop below the top 10 picks. When you draft in the top 10 you are expected to draft a starter and there are no starters amongst these quarterbacks. As a Minnesota Viking fan 4life since 1968 I expect the Vikings to draft for defense and a quarterback in the later rounds. Clowney simply has too much potential to pass up and Mack is looked at as favorably as Clowney. As a footnote with Manziel being so much into himself with his patents etc, it’s hard as a general manager justifying taking him in the top ten. Vikings will draft for defense and so will the Texans-have a wonderful week folks!

  21. Some time last year-I think-one publication put together a study that determined that the NFL Draft-and all its ‘expert’ evaluators-is nothing more than a 50-50 proposition as it relates to how guys will play at the next level.

    Time after time guys who are can’t-miss prospects, do exactly that, and fail in spectacular fashion. And time after time, guys who are considered marginal prospects blossom into sensational players.

    If the Patriots knew Tom Brady would be arguably the greatest ever to sling the rock, rest assured, they wouldn’t have banked on everyone else–and they passed on him for five rounds as well–passing on him.

    The NFL Draft–the ultimate crap-shoot.

  22. If the Texans take Manziel… they would be must watch TV this year. Maybe even to have HBO do their annual show on the Texans.

    Not saying it would be the smartest move, but it would certainly be a fascinating one that would draw the more casual NFL fans to be interested in the Texans.

  23. As a die hard colts fan, I say yes. only because this dude can straight ball. However, I can see him slipping to a team like the Vikings who tend to draft the most skilled players, randy moss, AP, and the raiders, browns, rams, jaguars are dumb and will let him fall. Fact.

  24. The Texans should double dip at the QB position. Take Bortles number 1. If Manziel drops grab him in round two. They will also have choices of Carr and the others in R2.

  25. Clowney now, late qb like Murray if they feel they must, suck again and JWinston next year. That’s the correct plan.

  26. I can’t believe there is still another month of this crap… Then we can get back to whether the Redskins is a racist name.

  27. They should just take Clowney. Putting him next to Watts would be ridiculous and the QB’s available at the very top of the 2nd round have damn near the same probability of success as Manziel.

    There aren’t any defensive players in the draft outside of round 1 that would stack up to Clowney in potential.

  28. Nothing but pre-draft posturing this time of the year. Half of what you hear is simple speculation and the rest is misleading rhetoric by the GM’s.

  29. 11 of the last 13 years either Brady, Manning or Roethlisberger represented the AFC in the Super Bowl. Only Rich Gannon in 2002 and Flacco in 2012 have done it in addition to those 3 guys, and Flacco barely did it, having to beat Peyton and Brady to get there. There is no question that an elite QB is the most important peice of any great team. There have been a few examples of guys winning Super Bowls without elite QB talent, but they are few and far between.

    If the Texans don’t take Manziel then when are they going to get a QB that can help them win? They won’t be as bad this year as they were last year so they won’t be at the top of the draft in 2015. This may be their only chance to get a high first rounder. Clowney is an amazing talent, but 1 defensive player won’t make them a dominant team year over year.

    Manziel may end up a bust, but he’s worth a shot for Houston because they may never get a chance to get a QB that high again.

  30. Spoiler alert

    Clowney gets drafted first overall.

    Manziel falls to Oakland, where he is more interested in being a California celebrity instead of a football player. Manziel silences his critics and the raiders start the season 4-2. Then he gets injured, needs to heal for a year

  31. Let’s see…they chose Carr over Peppers and lost. They chose Mario over Young and won. Let’s stick to the trend and take Clowney over any of the 3 “top” QBs.

  32. I’ve seen and heard McClain on ESPN. He’s just another in a long line of starry-eyed media types who believe the be-all, end-all are quarterbacks.
    While there’s no doubt that Schaub was horrible last season, it should also be noted that the Texans won a lot games with him at QB. They won with a healthy defense, which they lacked in 2013. If that defense regains its superior form, anyone could quarterback Houston to 13 or 14 wins.
    Quarterback is the most overrated, overhyped and overpaid position in sports.

  33. He may be plugged-in but he’s not always correct. In 2006, he swore the Texans were going to take Vince Young No. 1. Clearly that didn’t happen.

  34. The Texans have sold-out every game in their history and have a long waiting list for season tickets. None of their draft choices will sell more tickets.

    I believe they should take Clowney, but with a new regime, I have to trust O’Brien to make the correct choice.

    My only fear would be trading back and having to settle for a player lesser than what we could have got with the #1 pick.

  35. Seemed like the Texans had a bad Oline last year.

    It doesn’t matter who the QB is if you can’t protect him. Unless they fix the Oline first it doesn’t matter who they draft at QB.

  36. Matt Schaub 2 years ago had the Texans as one of the frontrunners to win a Superbowl.

    In having one bad season with the team they dumped him right on his butt and wound up with the first round pick in the draft.

    Philip Rivers had 2 bad years and bounced back last year. Eli Manning won 2 superbowls and played like one of the worst QB’s in the league last year.

    Even great players have down years, but it’s the bad franchises that make kneejerk reactions and scrap everything just when things start to fail.

    If the Texans really aren’t that bad, it’s not because of Matt Schaub just like if they were that good it’s also not because of him.

    Either this team is a QB away in which Johnny Manziel could help them win a Superbowl. Or the team is really miles away from ever winning it and it wont make a difference if you draft Clowney or Manziel.

    There is no greater need on the Texans roster than a QB who can win games.

  37. He’ll got to the Packers in the 7th, then be cut when he debuts his t-shirt at camp “Lambeau, The House that Johnny built”

  38. First, I am not from Texas nor a fan of Texas A&M, but…

    You guys are crazy if you think Clowney is a better QB than Manziel. Not even close.

    Manziel should go first, he is the BEST all-around QB in the draft this year. Anyone that thinks otherwise just is plain not paying attention.

  39. There isn’t 1 QB that jumps off the board, over the others. Houston grabs the best player for their system,probably Clowney, then gets a decent arm, maybe a winner like McCarron later on.

  40. I don’t discount the whole “Texas” connection with Johnny Manziel, but it is worth stating that he’s a lifelong Dallas kid, and that if you wanted the whole “storybook” team, the Dallas Cowboys is really who should draft him.

    Would the Cowboys trade up to draft him? I’m not sure, but maybe a team like the Browns or Jags with longstanding issues at QB, would take an established guy with 4-5 good years left like a Tony Romo plus a first or second rounder instead of a boom/bust QB like Bridgewater or Manziel. Maybe it doesn’t.

    Just food for thought. Manziel as a Cowboy would be entertaining, just from an NFL fan standpoint.

  41. McClain wants everyone to think he is plugged in but is wrong the majority of the time.
    The team is probably using him to try and create a smokescreen to create trade demand.

  42. You know without the “experts” giving you top to bottom analysis and opinions, you would have almost literally no clue who would get picked where….

    So you can remove the quotations from around the word experts, because they are experts, if there is such a thing.

    It’s pretty obvious when you look at the 100s of mock drafts floating around the internet that no one has a clue what is really going to come out of the draft.

  43. The saints took George Rogers #1 overall and the giants took L.T. #2. All 28 teams besides the saints had LT as the top rated player. Not saying clowney is the next LT, but maybe the texans should consider that the rest of the world thinks clowney is a better prospect than manziel. The saints still haven’t lived that one down. Almost as bad as taking sam Bowie over Jordan.

  44. The Texans don’t want to make the 1st pick, they’d love to trade out & I don’t blame them.

    They might be only a QB away from the playoffs, but there isn’t a QB in this yrs draft that will get them there in his rookie yr., just won’t happen.

  45. If there are talks of Manziel falling out of round one, why would the Texans take him with the #1 pick?

    Clowney won’t be available at pick #33. But Manziel or another QB will.

  46. Lets put Johnny Manziel in perspective:

    How many run-first QB’s have won a Super Bowl? Mike Vick anyone?

    When you watch film, 2 things stand out: 1) Johnny drops back, waits 5 seconds, and then starts to scramble. This is great against Ole Miss. It will et you killed in the NFL. 2) Because of his scrambling ability, most of the passes he made in college were to wide open receivers. THis does not happen too much in the NFL. On the other hand, Johnny’s highlight reel makes Mike Evans look great because he made so many great catches when Johnny was throwing the ball up for grabs.

    Does Bill O’Brien seem like the type of guy who wants to put up with Johnny Football? Ray Farmer? Lovie Smith? Gus Bradley? Mike Zimmerman?

    My bet is that if the Raiders pass on him (and I think they will) , Jerry Jones won’t be able to control himself.

  47. McClajn is a dud well past his prime. He claimed getting rid of Kubiak was foolish. He is constantly wrong. Just sayin’.

  48. The Texans don’t need Manziel to sell tickets. They have sold out every game in their history. If they draft JF it will be because they want him. If he is good they will soon own Texas and that will be a first and would be the financial boost they want. They would get a huge publicity boost from him. The ‘Boys are sure ripe for the pickin’.
    My first choice from a football standpoint is a trade down because they really need three new starters out of this draft. My second choice is Clowney because he is the only 1.1 guy in the draft. I don’t think there is a 1.1 QB in this draft.

  49. Don’t take a QB at #33 – draft Clowney #1 and then trade up into the first round to take your QB.

    This team needs a QB, bottom line, and you can’t win in the NFL without one. Anyone who says “none of these QB’s are going to succeed at the next level” is clueless. Bridgewater, Bortles, and Manziel will all be successful in the NFL, it’s only a matter of when. They just have to find the right guy for their system. O’Brien is a QB coach and I know he’ll pick the right guy.

  50. Best case scenario for the Texans is to trade with Atlanta and pick the best QB available at #6. They would get value for Clowney and still get a top 3 QB. Cleveland is reportedly high on drafting Derek Carr at 4 and the Raiders appear all in on Schaub (and they better draft O-Line at 5 if Matt is to have a chance to play well).

  51. Unless Jones can convince Houston to do some kind of Romo trade, and I have no doubt there’s things going on behind the scenes, Manziel will be a Texan.

  52. If the Falcons want to move up to #1 to have Clowney, I’m all for it. I just want AT LEAST what they gave up for Julio Jones with the 6th pick – 5 draft picks – 2 firsts, a second and two fourths.

  53. Bill O’Brien is from the Bill Belichick school of not paying premiums for players. The only value that the first round has for him is to collect a lot of lower round draft picks.

    I believe that the Texans will pass on all the players in question. Instead, they will load up on 2nd and 3rd round talent who are hungry (and dedicated) to play in the NFL. The press will grade the Texans with a ‘D’ or lower, but that’s the Patriot approach to drafts.

  54. I hope at least 5 QB’s will go in the first round. 4 will be bust and basically eliminate those teams from being good for the next 3-5 years. Those are 4 teams I can x out on my list of teams that may try to oppose the mighty Steelers.

    Go Steelers!!!!

  55. Why is everyone reading into this visit to Oakland? It is a pre draft visit, every team gets them! If Reggie had reservations about signing DJax wouldnt you think he has reservations drafting Manziel? Not what Oakland is looking for in a QB. Get over it!!!

  56. I think Manziel will be an NFL bust! So many NFL guys don’t see him as even a first round caliber; when did the Texans all of a sudden become draft gurus. Some heads are eventually going to roll if this kid is chosen #1.

  57. Why is McClain so respected??….back in 2006 he supported and encouraged MCNair’s picking up David Carr’s option at $8 mill sign bonus and 3 yrs at $8 mil a year…. Then McNair hired Kubiak and 12 months later Carr is gone….
    McClain does nothing except make stupid statements and copy other people mock drafts….. in short McClain is an Idiot surpassed only by his old running buddy

  58. Hack writers such as Florio will ride the Johnny football train until the wheels fall off. When you don’t have any real reporting skills or inside sources for newsworthy stories you throw up a story with Manziel in the title and add a poll for added flair, to get hits. It works ,but most can see through the fluff Florio puts out daily. No one knows where Manziel will go at this point.

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