The Houston Texans hold the first overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft, a position which in many years would allow them to control the board on draft day. This pre-eminence would have typically given the team the means to leverage the pick in a variety of beneficial packages. However, this year is unlike most others from the recent past.
The 2014 draft class is a jumble of very talented players with a defensive end in Jadeveon Clowney as the apparent front-runner. From 2009 to 2012, there was a standout quarterback who made the No. 1 selection a more straightforward decision. At least there is more star power in this group than in 2013, when the dilemma was which offensive tackle would be taken first.
According to Commissioner Roger Goodell, the Easter Bunny forced the league to move the draft from its usual late April start to May 8. A scheduling conflict at Radio City Music Hall with the Rockettes' “Spring Spectacular” show was supposedly the reason. That strangely coincided with a one-year experiment to start the league calendar a couple of weeks later than normal.
Will the extra time give general manager Rick Smith the chance to maximize the potential of his draft position? What follows are some creative scenarios that might yield more value than just standing pat with the 11 picks that Houston currently holds.