I will admit that I was one of the folks who was extremely high on Teddy Bridgewater at the end of the college football season. Bridgewater seemed like he was the most pro-ready prospect available who would seemingly adjust very quickly to the NFL. He was a complete master a Louisville offense that included checks and the option to make pre-snap reads, something that a certain Hall of Fame quarterback is renowned for (besides advocating football on your phone). Bridgewater was the most accurate passer in comparison to Blake Bortles and Johnny Manziel and just seemed like the safest bet among the three. Well, I am now off the Bridgewater bandwagon. And no, I am not jumping on Johnny Manziel’s bandwagon, nor Bortles’. Yes, I am officially one of the squished passengers that is trying to find space on Jadeveon Clowney’s bandwagon.
Although Clowney was deemed the sure-fire first overall pick at the beginning of last season in college football, Clowney pulled an absolute stinker of a season. Granted, he really did not have much to play for considering that he was forced to stay at South Carolina due to NCAA rules and did not want to risk getting injured. Those two factors played a huge part in his lack of statistical production in addition to the fact that he was constantly getting double-teamed and even tripled-teamed at times. Now, Clowney is vying for the first overall pick in a draft that does not particularly have any stud quarterbacks. I think Bomani Jones’ reasoning in today’s episode of “Around the Horn” really swayed me into loosening my attachment to the idea of Houston selecting their position of biggest need, quarterback, with their first overall pick. He said that although Bortles does have a lot of potential, he is a guy who appeared out of nowhere and shot up the draft board due to his physical stature and potential. He was not as prolific of a passer as Bridgewater or as electrifying as Manziel, yet he may be selected by Bill O’Brien and company to man their quarterback position. Jones stated that who is to say that you will not find another Blake Bortles next year or the following years? Although he then went on to argue for the Texans drafting Bridgewater, his point about Bortles strongly resonated with me. Why spend the first overall pick on a guy whose talent may be replicated by a quarterback in next year’s draft or the following draft when there is a guy on board who is being deemed as the best defensive line prospect that some scouts have seen in this past decade, let alone ever? It does not make any sense.
If O’Brien and company truly feel like the quarterback class is not split into different hierarchies, with Bortles, Manziel, and Bridgewater occupying the top, then why on earth would you spend your second first overall pick in franchise history on a guy whose talent may just be slightly better than a quarterback you can find in the second or even third round? Yes, Clowney has his downsides. But so do all three quarterbacks and in my opinion their downsides heavily outweigh those of Clowney. Clowney is a physical freak. Many people are not sure how Clowney will fit in Romeo Crennel’s defense. Some are thinking that Crennel will ask him to play the Willie McGinest role as a hybrid of sorts. If Romeo Crennel can seriously not figure out how to field J.J. Watt and Clowney to maximize their freakish abilities and talent then Crennel does not deserve a spot as defensive coordinator anywhere. Clowney will fit in any scheme due to his outlandish athletic ability and physical stature. Now the Texans just need to make things simple and draft him so all of this noise surrounding them and their interest in good but not great quarterbacks can subside and they can start scheming how to unleash havoc on opposing offenses with Watt and Clowney leading the charge.