Excuse me for a moment while I take a small break in Cowboys coverage. Seems like the personnel department has done the same for a week or so.
But let me weigh in on what has been a national story the last few weeks, although to me, it’s the biggest non-story in sports.
Jadeveon Clowney ripped past the offensive lineman in front of him, blasted the running back in the hole, which not only popped the runner’s helmet off, but the ball in the air. While on his way up from the ground, Clowney put his big mitt out and snatched the ball in one motion.
It was the play of the year, winner of SportsCenter’s Top-10 plays for about three months. It won an ESPY for Best Play.
From that moment, Jadeveon Clowney was the No. 1 overall pick in this draft. It hasn’t changed once. Not one time.
Not at any point last year when he failed to meet expectations, which were somewhere around getting five sacks per game. Not when your “draft experts” questioned his character or love for the game during the coverage of the combine.
There’s only one option for the No. 1 pick this year, and it hasn’t changed and it won’t.
Clowney is going No. 1 overall. Whether it’s to Houston or somewhere else if the Texans receive some massive trade package, Clowney will be the first pick either way.
No, I’m not breaking news here. But this stance hasn’t changed. I think I’ve even made a few handshake bets around the office that Clowney will indeed be the top player taken.
There is no other option.
Who cares if the Texans need a quarterback? Get one in the second round with your top pick in that round and hope for a Drew Brees. Get one in the third round and try to groom him. Hope you land a Colin Kaepernick or Russell Wilson.
And remember, those last two guys have been successful early because they’ve got a supporting defense that picks up the slack.
Draft Clowney and pair him with J.J. Watt, get a healthy Brian Cushing behind them, and you might just be on your way to that type of defense.
But in no way do you draft a quarterback when you have Clowney sitting there.
Johnny Manziel was a dynamic college player, and I really think he’ll be good in the NFL. But he is undersized and he’ll need to prove he can take punishing hits. Personally, I think he’ll be a good pick, but there are question marks.
Teddy Bridgewater and Blake Bortles … seems like you could get these guys next year when their names will be Jameis Winston, Todd Hundley, Marcus Mariotta or Bryce Petty.
The way college football is today – with a wide open passing attack – you’re going to find guys every year who will be NFL ready.
But guys like Clowney don’t come along every year. Not really every decade.
Think about it, if you were to draw up the prototype of a defensive end, you would just draw the exact body makeup, from size and weight, to Jadeveon Clowney. You want a big guy with speed that runs like a receiver but has defensive-end strength.
Everything you want from a dynamic defensive player, Clowney has and he’s had it since the moment he stepped onto campus at South Carolina – maybe even before.
He was the best player in high school. He was the best freshman in college football in 2011 and an All-American the last two years.
Clowney is used to being the best. That’s why he’ll be picked No. 1 and there’s never been a doubt.