- Tania Ganguli, ESPN Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
Best move: The Texans' selection of South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney was a no-brainer. Contrary to pre-draft rumblings, they didn't give Clowney advance warning they would be selecting him first overall. He even got nervous as the minutes ticked down while the Texans were on the clock. They waited until three minutes remained in their time to call him and tell him the news. Clowney's ability, both physically and mentally, made him the right pick for the Texans. They'll make him an outside linebacker, which will be a transition, but will use him in a lot of different ways. They needed outside pass-rush help, and, regardless of need, Clowney was the best player they could have taken.
Riskiest move: The Texans didn't take many risks. They stuck to their board, almost stubbornly so, and stayed with players who fit the description of what they've sought. They didn't take any players with character risks. They did take two players whose injury histories might have impacted where they were drafted in Alfred Blue and Jeoffrey Pagan, so I suppose those constitute the biggest risks. Blue tore his anterior cruciate ligament in his knee in 2012 after starting the season as LSU's starting running back ahead of Jeremy Hill, who was drafted in the second round. Pagan had shoulder surgery, which prevented him from being able to work out at the combine. His combine experience was more about the medical evaluation, but he feels he could have raised his stock by showing what he could do athletically.
Most surprising move: It was a bit of a surprise the Texans waited until the fourth round to take a quarterback. General manager Rick Smith acknowledged at the end of Friday's Rounds 1 and 2 that there was still another need they hadn't addressed. Three quarterbacks went in the first round -- Blake Bortles third to Jacksonville, Johnny Manziel 22nd to Cleveland and Teddy Bridgewater 32nd to Minnesota. Two more, Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo, went in the second round, and none went in the third round. The Texans had Tom Savage graded in the fourth round and took him there.
File it away: The Texans got bigger on defense. At 6-foot-5, 266 pounds, Clowney is bigger than any outside linebacker currently on their roster. Louis Nix III, the Notre Dame nose tackle the Texans traded up to get, is 6-foot-2, 331 pounds, making him one of the heaviest players on defense. Pagan is 6-foot-3, 310 pounds. Safety Lonnie Ballentine, "Mr. Irrelevant," is the tallest safety the Texans have at 6-foot-3. The Texans staff will be molding some of these guys' bodies to what they're looking for, but they have a good starting point with most of them. Smith said after the draft the Texans got bigger and tougher. It was a goal of theirs, and it's something to monitor as the offseason melds into the season. How will that added size and toughness translate onto the field?