Report: Texans G.M. prefers Khalil Mack to Jadeveon Clowney


When the longer-than-ever pre-draft process began, the general assumption was that the Texans would draft a quarterback.

Then, as everyone began to realize what a generational talent Jadeveon Clowney was, the pendulum of conventional wisdom swung that way.

Turns out, neither may be the case in two and a half weeks when the draft finally starts with the Texans on the clock.

According to Peter King of, one “Friend of Rick Smith” (the Texans’ General Manager) said that Smith preferred Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack to Clowney, but his preference in quarterbacks was unclear.

While Clowney might be a better fit in a 4-3 defense than in a 3-4 such as Houston’s, that’s still a bold call.

In fact, it’s almost like the kind of thing that gets out there on purpose this time of year, as the Texans hope that someone calls a Friend of Rick Smith and says “Hey, if you don’t want that pick, we do.”

We only have 17 more days to wait to find out.

74 responses to “Report: Texans G.M. prefers Khalil Mack to Jadeveon Clowney

  1. Report: Texans GM prefers leaking as much disinformation as possible prior to May 8.

  2. Clowney will show his transcendent, generational talent on three, maybe four plays a month and if his team doesn’t start winning soon, he will show it even less. He has no heart. There are no good choices at the top of this draft. Trade down, Houston, if you can.

  3. Not even Peter King really believes it, because in the same breath he wrote, “I still think the Texans would go with a more sure thing with the first overall pick than a quarterback—and that sure thing could also be tackle Greg Robinson.”

  4. Please Texans, take Johnny Runziel. Mack is not worthy and Clowney can’t be trusted.

    I think they want Clowney, but Johnny’s the pick. The sooner he’s off the board, the better.

  5. Khalil Mack would’ve been a hidden Gem, but has certainly more well known now then he was a year ago …

    Mack is not the physical freak, but given his work ethic is leaps and bounds above Clowney. He is certainly worth the attention because his talent is right up there!

  6. Makes perfect sense. I’ve found out in my life that to my amazement an awful lot of people who follow NFL football don’t watch college football, Khalil Mack will make lots of highlight reels, he has a lot of Lawrence Taylor in him, he’s excellent and he’s outstanding. Most people only see the name Jadeveon Clowney and figure that if the media keeps pushing him he’s got to be all that and a lot of that is true-but as a college football fan as well as an NFL fan-Khalil Mack is a special talent!

  7. That’s probably the point, they WANT to trade out of the pick. Nothing tells Atlanta that Houston is open for business than a report like this.

  8. Trade the pick to Detroit and draft dennard at 10. Pretty sure they could snag detroits 2nd rounder from them in the process. They could use that for dee ford or Chris Borland or who ever to upgrade their front 7. Dennard is the best defensive player because its hard to find a true physical corner with speed these days.

  9. If true, this is great news for Les Snead & the Rams, who will be able to trade down with a bevy of extra picks.
    Atlanta seems like the most ardent suitor but there are several possibilities.

  10. Mack had fantastic production on a consistent basis and is more scheme versatile. Simply put, Mack fits the Texans defense better than Clowney.

    However, if the Texans prefer Mack, the one would think their No. 1 option would be to trade down if they can. Surely a team like Jacksonville could use Clowney. As long as the Texans don’t demand a king’s ransom, it could work for both teams.

  11. Only way this works is if JAX loves Clowney enough to move up to #1, and HOU could still nab Mack at #3, unless someone swaps with STL at #2 to poach him (like ATL).

  12. Having the top selection in the NFL draft i a difficult decision to make.

    If the Houston Texans aren’t completely sold on Jadeveon Clowney, it would probably be best to trade down a couple spots.

    I am sure the Atlanta Falcons would be willing to move up to select Clowney. Either way, having the top pick in the draft when there is not a clear choice must be scary.

  13. …..and if the Texans really prefer Khalil Mack over anyone else, but decide to trade down past the second pick, they could end up without either Mack or Clowney. Then what do they do?

  14. Like a franchise that could never live up to the hype they were receiving year after year, it doesn’t surprise me that Houston is having trouble with where they are going with this pick.

  15. Veiled way of saying “if you want Clowney make us an offer”… Every year some team is stoopid enough to mortgage their future for a “can’t miss” guy.

  16. If there is truth to this story, I hate that it’s become public. People LOVED the controversy of Houston taking Mario Williams #1 over Reggie Bush a few years back, and that certainly makes better television than experts reading off a litany of players just before their names are called with no surprises. How about a Goodell Gag Rule about the draft? He’s got rules for everything else.

  17. Clowney said he hopes to be drafted by the Falcons.

    Just give the stud what he wants.

  18. This Draft has about about 5 players worth Trading up to. This story is a smokescreen. T Robinson is the only sure thing, with Clowney and Mack being close. The QBs all have some questions.

    The Rams must be loving this. They win either way.

  19. Texans run a 3-4. Why everyone assumes they’d take a 4-3 defensive end with the first overall pick is beyond me.

    My gut tells me the Texans would love to trade down a slot or three and still get Mack or QB of their choosing.

  20. Two and a half weeks cant get here soon enough……..the NFL channel needs new material…

  21. Sammy Watkins is way more of a clear cut almost proven prospect. he will still be top 5 pick, just wish Houston needed a wr to end this relentless conversation !

  22. No real need for smoke screens because the Texans draft number one. I don’t see a scenario in which the Texans would trade down and still be able to certainly get Mack.

    Jax is in a good place, they can take whichever of Clowney, Mack and Watkins falls to them. No need to trade up for Clowney, they need their second rounder for a quarterback.

    Cleveland needs to keep their second rounder for a qb as well. They have too many holes to give up picks. Plus worst case if the top three are gone they can take Robinson and have a potentially dominant offensive line.

    Maybe Houston shocks the football world and takes Mack number one, kind of like they did taking Williams over Bush so long ago.

  23. Trade with Atlanta, get at least another 2nd round pick and at LEAST 2 future first and second round picks, take Mack at #6, QB at #33 (Bridgewater if he falls) and an ILB with that other 2nd round pick and I’d be a happy camper.

  24. Texans are not fooling anyone. Them trying to scare another team into trading up with them isn’t going to work.

    Texans are obviously afraid of making a selection that high because if they pass on Bortles, and he’s the next great QB then they will be hammered by their fans for the next decade. And rightfully so.

    But if they take Bortles, and he’s a bust then they get hammered about that for the next decade. But that’s the joy and agony of the NFL.

    So the GM better man up, trust his scouting and make the best selection based on his scouting and let the chips fall where they may.

  25. Houston is in a great horrible spot. In my opinion there are only 3 positions a team should look at with the number one pick, QB, Left Tackle or Pass Rusher. NONE of the QB’s coming out this year warrant the first overall pick. Clowney is a boom/bust selection so that leaves Left Tackle or trade down. Problem is can you convince someone to move up for Clowney or a sure to be average QB.

    If the opt to stay where they are the safest pick would be to get robinson out of Auburn. They may not need a LT right now but unless you have a pro-bowler at both tackles you can always use another tackle.

    Bortles, Manziel, Carr, bridgewaters or Metzenberger are worth a first round pick. Bridgewaters is this years geno smith.

    I believe the Texans should either Trade the pick to one of the two worst run franchises in the league, Raiders or jaguars or select one of the two LT’s, matthews or robinson. then select either Zach M. in the second round.

  26. I really wish we could just get to the draft and stop talking about it.

    The only thing we know is that the Texans will make a very important pick in the first round that WILL determine the near future of this team. THAT is all we know.

  27. God 2more weeks of bs. I think it might be best at this point to just turn the internet off until the draft finally starts in just over 2 weeks.

  28. Khalil Mack maybe better suited for a 3-4 defense while Clowney is better for a 4-3 defense. Houston runs a 3-4 defense so it would not be shocking if they did take Khalil Mack over Clowney.

  29. There is no such thing as a can’t miss prospect and most top player are pretty good. QB tend to “bust” more than other players because they have to be elite and only so many people are elite. RB WR LB can contribute as a solid player even if they aren’t top 10

  30. If they were trying to create a trade market, wouldn’t acting like they don’t care about the pick decrease it’s value? It would make much more sense to feign interest in the popular pick of Clowney to entice someone who wants him to make an offer.

    I think the G.M. legitimately prefers Mack, and he should. Mack is a disruptive force who makes plays all around the field and has a knack for getting to the ball.

  31. Hey speaking of texans. Remember when everyone said they were so right to take Williams over bush 1 year from that draft. Funny thing happened. Bush won Super Bowl and still very productive. And Mario Williams plays in buffalo …..

  32. Man I agree. The Texans are either posturing trying to finding a trade partner or they are clueless and I know they are not clueless. I just want it over with.

  33. No, it wouldn’t be a shock but I still think Clowney could be that hybrid type DE/LB kind of player who they could move around and cause match-up problems. But I have no issue with Mack. I just don’t want them wasting the 1-1 on a QB.

  34. I don’t agree. The best way to build up trade interest is to show interest in several players to keep other teams guessing as to who you might take. The Texans are doing everything right. No one know who or what position they may draft which could cause a team like Cleveland to panic that they may lose their guy.

  35. But that is part of the unknown. I think trading down is an option but it’s not a guarantee that they want to trade down. If they can get a team to panic and over pay I think they would trade down. But they won’t do it for mid-round picks.

  36. You really don’t know what you’re talking about.

    The 2009 season you are referring to, Reggie Bush did basically nothing. He totaled 8 TD combined rushing/receiving and was a bust as a punt returner. That’s why New Orleans got rid of him. He didn’t have a 1000+ yard season until 2011 and STILL isn’t an every down back.

    In that draft Mario Williams was the best pick for the Texans and he made their defense better. The only reason they didn’t push to resign him is because they could afford him.

  37. He’s only saying this to draw trade interest because the Rams also prefer Mack over Clowney and Watkins. So at the end, look for the Texans to take Clowney or Bortles. If they take Clowney, they will try to trade back in the first rd for Carr, Bridgwater or Manziel whom look like late first rounders.

  38. You know if your good enough your playing ability should be all you need to prove it rather tan boast and threaten to make life miserable for perspecitve clubs,etc….. Mack apparently has been graded on a similar level but with one caveat,He doesnt seem to have a personality disorder thats been made apparent and thats usually more attractive to most coachs who dont need assclowns and antics,O”Brien is a competent coach and they have quietly assembled a very good team within the organization regarding the front office and staff and I am interested to see if we can get the ship righted,I just hope we are able to produce a QB that moves to the front of the franchise and takes the reigns so to speak!The recent collapse is a head scratcher except that there were some significant injuries to key players but every team deals with the same types of things!

  39. I don’t know about them trading back into the 1st round. They have a lot of wholes to fill and there are going to be some serviceable QB’s at the top of the 2nd round. If they were picking out of the top 5 in the 2nd then I could see them pulling out all the stops to get that QB, but the Texans are in a position that, if they don’t trade out of the 1-1 and get two firsts to get their “guys”, there is still no reason to panic. To get one of the top 3 QB’s they would have to trade quite a few picks to get back into the top 10. So I would be surprised if they make that kind of move. Happy, but surprised.

  40. I don’t understand this concept of the Texans “trading down” – there is no player, not even Clowney, that any team would give up that much to trade to the #1 spot to pick up. Remember what Washington gave up to get RGIII at #2? It would take at least that if not more to trade to #1.

    The only team that might consider it is Atlanta who they say are really wanting Clowney.

  41. If a team wants to make sure they get their player, they will trade up to get him. If the Texans can convince a team that they are going to take a player that another team is “drooling” over, you will see a trade.

    If the Texans start talking up a QB that they think the Browns would want, they could get the deal they want which I think is two 1st rounders. Most people think the Jags will take a QB. So if Houston take say…Manziel or says they will….and the Jags take Bridgewater, that leave the Browns with Bortles. If the Browns don’t like Bortles, they may want to trade to get Manziel with the 1-1. Makes perfect sense. But if the Texans focus in on one player, that makes it easy on the other teams and there won’t be a trade.

    I suspect that in the next week or so, the Texans will start talking about which QB they are going to take with the 1-1. They have no intention of actually taking one, but they will be angling for a trade from someone. And if a team outside of the top 5 wants the 1-1, it will cost even more.

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