Rival coach: Texans handled draft right

July, 23, 2014
Jul 23
2:26
PM ET
While I take issue with how the Houston Texans handled their 2013 draft and how they are handling receiver Andre Johnson's situation, what they did in this year's draft was absolutely the right move.

They weren't sold on a quarterback and so they didn't take one.

Their reward, according to Mark Maske of the Washington Post, is a player poised for immediate success in outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney. From the story:
Clowney
“They did the right thing,” one rival NFL head coach said during the offseason. "Any of those quarterbacks would have been a reach at No. 1. This kid [Clowney] has the ability to have a Jevon Kearse-type rookie year getting after the quarterback."

Kearse had 14 1/2 sacks as a rookie for the Tennessee Titans in 1999. Never mind that Kearse never again had that many sacks in an NFL season. Clowney can worry about his encore performance once his rookie year is done. He is well positioned to be a top pass rusher from the moment he steps on the field to open the 2014 season.

He has a unique combination of size, power and speed. He received pre-draft criticism from some analysts for, they said, not being consistent and not being fundamentally sound in all of his techniques. But some of those criticisms perhaps were overstated, with Clowney under intense scrutiny as the player who almost certainly would have been the top overall pick in the 2013 draft if he had been available.

Double-digit sacks for Clowney this season would be quite an accomplishment. It could get the Texans the elusive tandem of players with double-digit sacks in the same season. More on that later.

Tania Ganguli

ESPN Houston Texans reporter

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