With the No. 1 pick overall in the 2014 NFL draft, the Houston Texans selected Jadeveon Clowney. The once-in-a-generation pass-rusher had been slotted to the team in multiple mock drafts, but the Texans finally made it official on Thursday night.
The NFL's official Twitter account reported the pick shortly after the announcement from Radio City Music Hall:
Now the former South Carolina star can finally relax.
While nearly every fanbase has been excited for the opening draft night—sorry Washington Redskins and Indianapolis Colts fans—Clowney was simply ready for the moment to come. Clowney spoke about his emotions and criticism from analysts heading into the draft, per Jarrett Bell of USA Today:
I'm ready for it to be over. I've been tired of this. I wish the draft was like two or three weeks ago. ... The guys saying it, they don't know. They haven't been around me. Whatever team I get chosen by, they'll know. They'll let you know what's going on. 'He's a good worker. ... He's not a good worker.'
Clowney didn't lack any confidence heading into the big night for himself and multiple other elite prospects, as the NFL's account points out:
Though he came in with certainty about his stock, the defensive end couldn't hold in his emotions, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com noted:
The #Texans take Jadeveon Clowney No. 1 overall. He is crying.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 9, 2014
NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper of ESPN made his thoughts known on the first overall pick, per Mark Ennis of ESPN 680:
Kiper calls Clowney "the best pass rusher in 30 years".— Mark Ennis (@MarkEnnis) May 9, 2014
Houston now has one of the most terrifying defensive lines in the NFL. With J.J. Watt on one side and Clowney on the other, havoc will surely be wreaked on the entire AFC Sorth.
Tim Booth of the Associated Press notes one quarterback in the division that will need protection:
Jadeveon Clowney and JJ Watt together -- Jake Locker might already have a broken bone. (h/t @JerryBrewer).— Tim Booth (@ByTimBooth) May 9, 2014
There was no shortage of Texans fans in attendance to see the selection. With the team holding the No. 1 overall pick, the excitement was teeming for the fanbase yet again, as Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle notes:
This isn't the first time the Texans have held the first overall pick. When the franchise was originally started as an expansion team, Houston selected quarterback David Carr. The Texans would later select Mario Williams in 2006 over Reggie Bush, a surprise pick at the time.
While this year's selection was far from a surprise, ESPN Stats & Info notes why the last two picks are tied together:
Jadeveon Clowney: 1st defensive player drafted No. 1 overall since Mario Williams in 2006, last time Texans had No. 1 pick #HOUpick— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 9, 2014
Was Clowney the right pick?
What Clowney brings to the line is another threat on a potent defense. Alongside Watt, Clowney will have a chance to grow into a great player under his tutelage.
The selection also allows new head coach Bill O'Brien to potentially find his next quarterback in the second or third round, if not later in the first if the team makes a move. Given the pressure applied to first-round quarterbacks, O'Brien might find an offensive weapon later in the draft to build around.
Get ready for Clowney, AFC South. If you see Andrew Luck, give him a hug—he's going to need it.
Follow R. Cory Smith on Twitter.