The Houston Texans aren’t spoiling the suspense this time.
Unlike eight years ago, when they last had the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft, the Texans aren’t tipping their hand about who they will select first overall Thursday night at Radio City Music Hall.
On the day before the 2006 draft, the Texans dispelled any mystery about the No. 1 pick when they signed North Carolina State defensive end Mario Williams instead of USC running back Reggie Bush. The team offered them both the same contract, and Williams took the deal.
This time, the heavy favorite to be selected first overall is South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, although there’s an outside chance the top pick could be Buffalo outside linebacker Khalil Mack or quarterbacks Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M or Blake Bortles of Central Florida.
Clowney is giving every indication he’ll get the nod, although he said Wednesday he has no specific information or assurances from the Texans.
“I don’t think they’ll pass [on me],” he said.
The dream scenario for a lot of Texans fans is the thought of Clowney and All-Pro defensive tackle J.J. Watt on the same line.
Asked what that would mean for quarterback Andrew Luck of the AFC South-rival Indianapolis Colts, Clowney said: “He better be ready, man. He better have his head on a swivel, because I’m coming and I know J.J.’s coming, I’ve watched him. I think defenses win championships, as you could see in the Super Bowl this year with Seattle and Denver. They got after the quarterback, shook Peyton Manning, and defense won the game for them.”Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times