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Houston Texans: Team Draft Needs

Jesse Siegel

Siegel covers college football, college basketball and minor league baseball for RotoWire. He was named College Sports Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.

For a steady source of draft news and prospect analysis, make sure to follow us on Twitter at @NFLDraft2K14!

Following back-to-back playoff trips, everything fell apart for the Texans in 2013. Matt Schaub was a disaster, the running game never got going, and the defense was far too reliant on the incomparable J.J. Watt. Luckily, the horror show resulted in the No. 1 overall pick, and the Texans may have enough talent to make a quick turnaround. With one good draft, this team could be a threat as soon as 2014.

1. Quarterback

Though pairing Jadeveon Clowney with JJ Watt would be an absolute nightmare for opposing squads, this is a quarterback-driven league, and conventional wisdom says Houston will select a franchise QB with the first overall pick. Matt Schaub and Case Keenum flopped last season, so clearly a new field general is in order. New head coach Bill O’Brien is considered a quarterback guru as well, so Teddy Bridgewater and Johnny Football should be the frontrunners to go first overall.

2. Offensive Tackle

When you select a quarterback to lead your squad into the future, you better have a tackle or two to protect him. Houston was middle of the road in pass protection in 2013, allowing 42 sacks to opponents. The Texans also tied for 20th in the league in rushing yards, despite having one of the best running backs in the land in Arian Foster for the first two months of the season. Bolstering the line should be a top priority once a quarterback is in the fold.

3. Defensive end

The Texans still could make the surprise selection of Jadeveon Clowney with the first pick in the draft. Despite coming into the season with reigning defensive player of the year J.J. Watt, the Texans were among the worst teams in the league at getting to the quarterback in 2013. Houston had just 32 sacks, tied for 29th in the NFL. Even if they don’t select Clowney at No. 1, the Texans will almost certainly aim to pick a pass rusher later in the draft.

Potential targets


First round

-Teddy Bridgewater*, Louisville (6-2, 214)
-Johnny Manziel*, Texas A&M (6-0, 207)
-Blake Bortles*, Central Florida (6-5, 232)

Second and third rounds
-Derek Carr, Fresno State (6-2, 214)
-Zach Mettenberger, LSU (6-5, 235)
-David Fales, San Jose State (6-2, 220)
-Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech (6-6, 255)
-Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois (6-2, 226)

Fourth round and later
-Aaron Murray, Georgia (6-1, 210)
-Tajh Boyd, Clemson (6-1, 225)
-AJ McCarron, Alabama (6-3, 215)
-Brett Smith, Wyoming (6-2, 210)

Offensive tackle

First round

-Jake Matthews, Texas A&M (6-5, 305)
-Greg Robinson*, Auburn (6-5, 320)

Second and third rounds
-Zack Martin, Notre Dame (6-4, 310)
-Taylor Lewan, Michigan (6-7, 310)
-Joel Bitonio, Nevada (6-4, 310)
-Antonio Richardson, Tennessee (6-6, 330)
-James Hurst, North Carolina (6-6, 305)
-Morgan Moses, Virginia (6-6, 325)

Fourth round and later
-Jack Mewhort, Ohio State (6-6, 310)
-Seantrel Henderson, Miami (6-7, 345)
-Michael Schofield, Michigan (6-6, 305)
-Justin Britt, Missouri (6-6, 315)
-Wesley Johnson, Vanderbilt (6-5, 290)
-Charles Leno, Boise State (6-4, 295)

Defensive end

First round

-Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina (6-5, 275)

Second and third rounds
-Kony Ealy, Missouri (6-5, 275)
-Marcus Smith, Louisville (6-3, 260)
-Scott Crichton, Oregon State (6-3, 265)
-Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas (6-4, 250)
-Trent Murphy, Stanford (6-6, 260)
-Demarcus Lawrence, Boise State (6-3, 245)
-Chris Smith, Arkansas (6-2, 270)

Fourth round and later
-Aaron Lynch, South Florida (6-5, 245)
-Trevor Reilly, Utah (6-5, 255)
-Michael Sam, Missouri (6-2, 255)
-Larry Webster, Bloomsburg (6-6, 240)