Even though they have the No.1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans seem to be way too talented to hold that designation. Just two years removed from playing in the AFC title game and one year removed from another deep postseason run, the Texans finished 2013 with a 2-14 record. Injuries, coaching health problems and poor quarterback play forced them to take a major step back last season.
The latter reason is why Houston is reportedly looking at a quarterback with the top pick. Some hypothesized that the Texans would potentially look at All-World defensive end Jadeveon Clowney to bolster their already solid defensive unit, but Russ Lande with USA Today Sports says that the Houston brain trust has their sights on two guys: Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles and Texas A & M quarterback Johnny Manziel.
According to trusted sources, the Texans are initially leaning towards taking either Blake Bortles or Johnny Manziel with the top pick. Although Manziel would obviously be the choice of owner Bob McNair, O'Brien is not sold that Manziel possesses the work ethic and intangibles necessary to be the face of a franchise.
Houston's stance on Manziel seems to be a common one around the league, with the fear of the "boom or bust" label that has been placed on him. Another interesting thing of note here is that Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater doesn't seem to be on the Texans' radar with that No.1 overall pick. Before the 2013 season, many believed that Bridgewater was the favorite for the Heisman Trophy and the No.1 overall pick. Though he had a solid campaign, he has seemingly fallen out of favor a bit with some NFL teams.
In 2013, Borltes threw for over 3,500 yards and 25 touchdowns against nine interceptions. He ran for another six touchdowns as well. Manziel threw for over 4,100 yards last season with 37 touchdowns against 13 interceptions. He also ran for nine touchdowns. Both players have their question marks--Manziel's centering around maturity, size and his game translating to the pros, while Bortles is more of a raw player that went against mediocre competition.
One thing to note: Bill O'Brien, the new head coach of the Texans, played against Bortles this season when he was heading up Penn State.