The Houston Texans have a huge decision to make with their number one overall pick, but it really isn't that difficult if the organization as a whole can read between the lines.
Sure, we all know about the 4.53 40 time, the freakish strength and "the hit" that made Jadeveon Clowney famous in last year's bowl game against Michigan. However what do we know about the other prospects?
Jake Matthews and Greg Robinson are excellent offensive line prospects, but that position isn't a pressing need for the Texans.
When the Texans drafted DeAndre Hopkins a year ago, they felt like they nabbed last year's version of Sammy Watkins. And with another year of development, they may have his slightly older equivalent and a solid second wide receiver to help free up Andre Johnson in pass coverage.
After that it's all about the quarterbacks...
Can we just pause for a second and admit that both last year and this year the draft didn't have the type of NFL ready guys that the 2012 draft did?
Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater, and Blake Bortles could become fine signal callers but it's difficult to say that the Texans are choosing between the likes of Robert Griffin, Andrew Luck, or Ryan Tannehill. The Texans could quite possibly find a similar pool of talent in next years draft, the second round, or even on their own bench.
Texans fans might not be thrilled about this, but Matt Schaub is still under contract and is set to earn 14.5 million this year. Not only does that type of salary make him difficult to trade, but it also make it illogical to pay him to not compete to become a starter and instead sit on bench and groom a young quarterback.
Given how nothing is ever guaranteed in the draft, the Texans need to take the best player on the board. Their defense with Brian Cushing, J.J. Watt, along with Clowney could feast on their AFC South competition and possibly cruise to a division championship with only average quarterback play. And if they don't think Schaub can do that, they can elect to draft Nick Fales or A.J. McCarron, both are players could be available in the second round who many believe will be average at worst in the NFL.
The past suggests Texans will not buy into the hyperbole of local media, the clamor of local fans, and their collective rejection of conventional wisdom. It was this same group that preffered the Texans draft Reggie Bush over Mario Williams. I expect the Texans front office to reconcile their fracture relationship with Matt Schaub and draft Clowney. However, if the talk of drafting Manziel or Bortles is more than just fog and mirrors, the Texans may be on the verge of a legendary mistake.