The Houston Texans will be the first to go on the clock when the 2014 NFL Draft gets underway in May. The Texans earned their spot at the top of the round by losing their last 14 games consecutively. The season long losing streak left the fans disenfranchised and the shrapnel from their bomb of a season will leave bodies from management to players.
What went wrong with the Texans?
The Texans were the sexy pick to contend for the AFC Championship in a lot of circles. The defense looked formidable with stud defensive end J.J. Watt and returning linebacker Brian Cushing playing together and healthy at the same time. The Texans even signed veteran safety Ed Reed to go into a secondary already featuring Jonathan Joseph and Danieal Manning.
What went wrong was bad quarterback play and injuries. Quarterback Matt Schaub threw pick sixes for four straight weeks from weeks two through five, causing fans to turn on him. Star running back Arian Foster was lost for the season in week six. Cushing was again lost for the season in week 7. Backup quarterback Case Keenum played better than Shaub, throwing one less touchdown (10-9) and 6 fewer interceptions (14-6) in two fewer games than Schaub. Shaub played ten games, Keenum eight. Ed Reed was cut for making remarks detrimental to the team to the media in week 7. ¬†Coach Gary Kubiak suffered a stroke on the sideline. The Texans turned into a rudderless ship.
Where do you begin to fix the Texans?
The Texans, for all their foibles, are still looking good on offense from a receiver and running back standpoint. Backup Ben Tate will not return next season but Arian Foster should be ready and healthy for the 2013/14 season. They found a great compliment to Andre Johnson with rookie DeAndre Hopkins out of Clemson. Hopkins was enjoying moderate success until he too was stopped by injuries. They are set at tight end as veterans Owen Daniels and Garrett Graham are excellent pass catchers. ¬†The biggest problem with the Texans was the quarterback position and the solution is not on their roster right now but that man is in their state already. There is no doubt about it.
With the number one pick in the 2014 NFL Draft the Houston Texans need to select….Johnny Manziel, quarterback, Texas A&M.
The Texans were the laughingstocks of the league last season, even more so than Jacksonville because the Jaguars beat them twice. The Texans scored fewer than ten points in four games, that’s a quarter of their games. Most games, Schaub couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat last season and Case Keenum was primed to keep Schaub’s job until he also got injured so neither quarterback has shown much durability. The fans made news by burning Schaub’s jersey in his driveway at Schaub’s home in Houston. Fortunately, Schaub was away for a road game that week.
If the Texans want to bring people back to the stadium and place as much distance between this abysmal season and the upcoming one, drafting Manziel is a must. Quarterback is their most glaring need. The defense suffered because the offense couldn’t score. Shaub didn’t help matters by throwing so many interceptions and giving the opposing defense points.
Manziel is Mister Excitement. He won the Heisman Trophy as a rookie. In his sophomore season he posted even better statistics. Manziel is dangerous with his cannon arm and great speed. At only six feet tall, he is compared to a Russell Wilson or shorter version of Colin Kaepernick at the pro level. Many will wonder if his smaller size will limit the length of his career in the NFL. Manziel is great at keeping a play alive with his feet and is willing to take on contact. At the next level, he will be advised not to do those things.
Manziel is most accurately another Michael Vick. Freakish athleticism, exceptional speed for a quarterback. Diminuitive stature. Not a true pocket passer. Yet. That can be taught. The kid will only be 21 years old at the beginning of next season. Manziel, nicknamed ‘Johnny Football’ is a Texas native and the biggest draw in the draft for the Texans. The table is set with Manziel declaring for the NFL just this week.
Is Manziel the best quarterback in the draft?
Depends on who you ask. Many will say he’s the third best behind Teddy Bridewater of Louisville and Blake Bortles of the University of Central Florida. In the end, that question doesn’t matter. For the Texans, Manziel is the best man for the job. No football player is bigger in the state of Texas than Manziel. He hasn’t played a down in the NFL and his legend has already reached mythical status.
Football is a religion in the state of Texas and right now, Friday Night football in Texas draws better than the Texans games do. Only one name will bring fans running back into Reliant Stadium, sitting on the edge of their seats with baited breath. Johnny Manziel is a Texas sized home run. The complimentary pieces are in place for him to be successful. The fan support and money his name will draw will far exceed even the Texans expectations. The Texans could even surpass the Cowboys as the biggest pro team in the state. The question now is are they wise enough to pull the trigger and keep Johnny Football in Texas?
The Houston Texans are now on the clock.
- Greg Williams is a Staff Writer for ProSportsExtra.com¬†
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