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Clowney over Manziel, others a no-brainer for Texans

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The Texans selected one of the most elite defensive talents in several years when they picked South Carolina defensive end Jadaveon Clowney with the first pick of the 2014 draft.

It was simply the best possible selection. The top three quarterbacks -- Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles and Teddy Bridgewater -- had enough questions to pass. Bortles wound up going No. 3 to Jacksonville.

Clowney has his critics. But he is an elite talent, a rare combination of size, explosiveness and playmaking ability. He is not yet an elite football player, but the talent is undeniable. If Bill O'Brien, and more specifically, Romeo Crennel, can harness that talent and focus it, the Texans will have added a key piece to their defense.

A large contingent of the fans wanted Texas A&M hero Johnny Manziel, but the questions about his size, durability and inability to adjust to the NFL game brought enough questions marks that he shouldn't have been seriously considered at No. 1. The fact that he lasted as long as he did backed that up.

From a football perspective, it makes a ton of sense. Clowney can play a hybrid outside 3-4 pass rusher. That should enable the Texans to move Brooks Reed inside -- he has been largely ineffective as an outside linebacker but should be better suited inside -- and essentially fill two key holes on the defense.

It should also finally give Whitney Mercilus a chance to shine opposite Clowney. He should see nothing but one on one blocks. It should also free up J.J. Watt. You simply can't block everyone.

Sure, Clowney could bust. There are few guarantees. He could also become a transcendent player who helps make the Texans defense one of the best in the league.

The next big question for the Texans is quarterback. There should be several available at pick 33. There are also rumors they are working on a deal for New England backup Ryan Mallett. Regardless, there should be several options there.

As for No. 1? It was a no-brainer. And the Texans made the right call.

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