I have nothing against Jadeveon Clowney and wish him nothing but the best. I hope he recovers from his various injuries and has a great year next year and goes on to have a great career in the NFL. That being said, my hope is that sports journalists and fans will bear in mind the complete lack of impact on the Texans this year when we get to the 2015 draft this spring.
If you recall, the sports world was in a frenzy about who would get the number one overall pick and be blessed with the opportunity to draft the most physically gifted college football player since Tony Mandarich. There was talk at the time that Jadeveon Clowney’s status as the number one pick was so solid that he could have sat out his entire junior year and be picked number one. As it turned out, he played, had a terrible year, had his work ethic sort of called into question by his coach, and was still picked number one.
The Texans, after selecting Clowney with the number one pick, turned their team around and still have a shot at the playoffs this year, although it has nothing to do with Clowney, who recorded zero sacks in his rookie year before being placed on IR this season. The Texans’ success is primarily due to their new coach, and undrafted running back, and one of the greatest defensive ends of all time who was the 11th overall pick a few years back.
The Cleveland Browns, who drafted the second highest profile college player in the 2014 draft, Johnny Manziel, has also turned around their fortunes and have not yet been eliminated from the playoff race with 3 games remaining. This success, however, has nothing to do with Johnny Manziel as he hasn’t started a single game this year.
In 2012, the Washington Redskins traded a tractor trailer load of first and second round picks for the rights to Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III. RG3, as he is now known, has been benched in two straight years by two different head coaches. It might be worth bearing this in mind when start being force fed stories about the next franchise changing college prospect after the Super Bowl this winter, one that will likely be won by a team lead by a quarterback picked 199th overall.