The question that has plagued the football world for close to three months, at least for Texans fans. With new hiring’s left and right throughout the Texans organization the only real question that still remains to be seen, is whom they will pick in the upcoming draft. In my opinion there are two realistic options for the Texans: Manziel or Clowney.
Johnny Manziel is probably one of the most hyped up players in college history. At the start of this years college football season Johnny Football came in like he owned the place. Having been the first ever freshman to win the Heisman trophy, Manziel had a ton of pressure to face when he returned to school in the fall. Many people expected his production to drop off as it seemed near impossible that he could repeat the same success he had as a freshman. Though Johnny didn’t exactly repeat his success (lack of Heisman trophy), his production didn’t decrease at all, if anything it increased.
Johnny Manziel was able to amass 4114 passing yards, 408 more yards than his freshman year on five fewer attempts and 37 passing touchdowns, 11 more than the year before. Although Johnny’s rushing stats decreased a bit he was still able to run for 759 yards and 9 touchdowns on 144 carries. With these numbers Manziel was able to lead Texas A&M to a 9-4 record and a Chick-fil-A bowl game win, whilst still having one of the worst defenses in college football.
Manziel showed us that he wasn’t just a one trick pony. He became more confident in his passing and became less reliant on his running abilities even though he wasn’t afraid to scramble out of the pocket if need be. Recently with the combine we were able to see Manziel run an official 4.68s 40yd dash among other things.
If the Houston Texans picked Johnny Manziel and were able to provide him with some decent offensive lineman, I believe Manziel could lead the Texans into the playoffs his rookie season. The Texans have a stout defense and have numerous offensive weapons such as Arian Foster, Andre Johnson and even second year receiver DeAndre Hopkins. With Manziel at the helm in the quarterback position and a solid running game already in place the offense would finally be able to put some points on the board.
With the Texans desperately in need of a quarterback I can see no reason why they would hesitate on picking Manziel other than the bust factor, and Jadeveon Clowney. Though it remains to be seen if Johnny Manziel will have as good of an NFL career as he did college, can the Houston Texans really afford to pass on him and spend the year with Ryan Fitzpatrick, Case Keenum, T.J. Yates or god forbid, Matt Schaub.
Moving on to the player that became an instant ESPN favorite after his monster hit on Vincent Smith in the Michigan game, Jadeveon Clowney. Like Manziel, all reporters could talk about before the start of the fall season was how much of a beast Jadeveon Clowney was going to be. How he was going to set sack records and be the most dominant defensive player college football had ever seen. Putting it lightly, those hopes were a little farfetched.
Jadeveon Clowney’s production in his junior year drastically decreased. It was almost as if he was a different player. He recorded 40 total tackles, 14 less than the year before and a meager three sacks, 10 less than in his sophomore year. Many now believe that at the time Clowney wasn’t playing 100% for fear of injury. People thought that Clowney was too afraid of getting injured and ruining his future NFL career, which was why he wasn’t as aggressive and even sat out some games. Of course Clowney has never admitted to this but there have been numerous reports regarding his attitude and commitment.
Even though his numbers decreased, Clowney was still widely feared amongst college quarterbacks and lineman. He drew double teams almost every game and forced the opposition to play away from him. Any player that is able to do that on anything less than 100% needs to be in consideration for the 1st overall pick.
Coming into this years NFL combine after an extremely disappointing season, Clowney had something to prove not only to the fans and reporters, but also to himself. Clowney’s combine didn’t get off to the greatest of starts. With his long arms he only managed to bench 21 reps in the bench-press, which as you can imagine drew loads criticism from reporters. Though Clowney had a poor bench-press he more then made up for it with his 40yd dash.
Jadeveon Clowney ran an official 4.53s 40yd dash. With the 40yd dash he showed that he had the blistering speed that everyone was looking for in him and further demonstrated that he is an athletic freak of nature. If the Texans are seriously considering Clowney, which I believe they should, then they have to take everything into consideration, not just his athletic prowess. Still, can you imagine the defensive tandem of Clowney and Watt. JJ Watt would constantly draw double teams like he has done for the past two seasons, which would allow Clowney to use his speed and strength to constantly get at the quarterback. This would mean teams would have to use up to four offensive lineman to stop just two players, now that’s scary. In regard to his motivation and commitment issues, I highly doubt Clowney would find it hard to play anything but 100% when he would be on the same team as Brian Cushing and JJ Watt.
To pick between Manziel or Clowney is tough seeing as Manziel isn’t miles ahead of the other quarterback prospects and Clowney has some issues that need to be dealt with. If the draft were today I would probably take Johnny Manziel because he has impressed me enough to make me think he can lead the Houston Texans into a series of successful postseason runs.
Disagree with me? Have your say in the comments below.
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