On the clock
Who will the Cowboys and Texans take with their first round picks?
It’s that time of year again.
No, football season isn’t exactly upon us yet. But the NFL Draft will give us a much needed football fix starting this Thursday. The NFL schedule release was all fine and dandy, but the draft paves the way for the future.
It will be an exciting time for Houston Texans fans. The Texans have the No. 1 overall pick and need a game changer to help right the ship again after last year’s miserable season.
Dallas Cowboys fans should also be on the edge of the seats. While the Cowboys don’t have a top-10 pick, you can count on Jerry Jones doing something a little crazy. In other words, you should expect the unexpected. If the Cowboys make the right pick, though, they might finally be able to get over that 8-8 hump.
Here are some players the Cowboys and Texans will target with their respective first round picks.
Houston Texans (No.1)
QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M (6-1, 210)- Johnny Football is arguably the most exciting player in college football history. Manziel made magic happen at Texas A&M as he helped the Aggies excel in the SEC and racked up numerous awards including the prestigious Heisman Trophy. With Matt Schaub no longer in town, the Texans are likely to take a quarterback at some point in the draft, and it might just be Manziel. But remember, back in 2005, they passed on Texas star Vince Young and took Mario Williams instead.
DL Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina (6-5, 265)- If history repeats itself, the Texans will take Clowney over Manziel. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Manziel is a wild card, while Clowney is a safe pick that could come in and make an immediate impact along the defensive line. Clowney was dominant throughout his career at South Carolina and constantly demanded double and even triple teams.
OLB- Khalil Mack, Buffalo (6-3, 212)- It would be surprising to see the Texans pass on both Clowney and Manziel. But if they do, they’ll likely go with Mack. If you don’t know too much about Mack, which is understandable since he played in the MAC, you should. Last season, he was a Butkus Award finalist and recorded 100 tackles and 10.5 sacks.
Dallas Cowboys (No. 16)
DT Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh (6-0, 285)- There is no way the Cowboys don’t take Donald if he’s there. Donald would fill the team’s biggest need and shore up a defensive line that was made up of no-names last season. The problem is Donald might not be available. Both the New York Giants and Chicago Bears could take him at No. 12 and No. 14, respectively. If Donald does land in Dallas, he could develop into something special under Rod Marinelli.
S Calvin Pryor, Louisville (5-11, 205)- Safety was clearly a weakness in the secondary last season. The jury is still out on injury plagued Matt Johnson and JJ Wilcox, so expect the Cowboys to take multiple safeties in this draft. Pryor would be a nice pick in this spot. A hard-hitting defensive back, Pryor, a first-team All-AAC selection, could start from Day 1.
OT Zack Martin, Notre Dame (6-4, 310)- Defensive line and safety are bigger needs, but it’s not secret that the Cowboys still need some help along the offensive line. Keeping Tony Romo upright is essential, and Martin would obviously help in that area. This wouldn’t be a flashy pick by any means, but hey, neither was Travis Frederick, and it appears he’s going to help anchor the line for years to come.
EJ’s Mock Draft
Mock drafts are difficult to compile because of all the movement that is bound to happen. This will likely end up in trash bin before the fifth pick, but here's my best stab in the dark.
1. Houston Texans- DE Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina
2. St. Louis Rams- OT Greg Robinson, Auburn
3.Jacksonville Jaguars- QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
4. Cleveland Browns- WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson
5. Oakland Raiders- OLB Khalil Mack, Buffalo
6. Atlanta Falcons- OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M
8. Minnesota Vikings- QB Blake Bortles, UCF
9. Buffalo Bills- OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan
10. Detroit Lions- CB Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State
11. Tennessee Titans- CB Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State
12. New York Giants- DT Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh
13. St. Louis Rams- FS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Alabama
14. Chicago Bears- FS Calvin Pryor, Louisville
15. Pittsburgh Steelers- WR Odell Beckham Jr., LSU
16. Dallas Cowboys- OT Zack Martin, Notre Dame
17. Baltimore Ravens- TE Eric Ebron, North Carolina
18. New York Jets- WR Brandin Cooks, Oregon State
19. Miami Dolphins- OT Morgan Moses, Virginia
20. Arizona Cardinals- QB Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville
21. Green Bay Packers- ILB CJ Mosely, Alabama
22. Philadelphia Eagles- CB Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech
23. Kansas City Chiefs- WR Marqise Lee, USC
24. Cincinnati Bengals- OLB Ryan Shazier, Ohio State
25. San Diego Chargers- OLB Anthony Barr, UCLA
26. Cleveland Browns- QB Derek Carr, Fresno State
27. New Orleans Saints- CB Bradley Roby, Ohio State
28. Carolina Panthers- OT Cyrus Kouandjo, Alabama
29. New England Patriots- DT Ra’Shede Hageman, Minnesota
30. San Francisco 49ers- CB Jason Verrett, TCU
31. Denver Broncos- OT Joel Bitonio, Nevada
32. Seattle Seahawks- OG Xavier Su’A-Filo, UCLA
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