"First of all, if there's a quarterback they fall in love with and say, 'He's our guy for the next 10 years,' you don't even think about trading down," Mayock said Tuesday. "You pull the trigger and go to work with him, and he's the face of your franchise. I don't think there's any doubt about that."
Quarterback is the Texans' biggest question mark after Matt Schaub's abysmal season and Case Keenum showing little promise of being a franchise player. Mayock believes the only way Houston doesn't select a signal-caller is if doubt looms about the top prospects -- Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles and Derek Carr.
"Now if you're sitting at No. 1 in this draft and you've got questions, because none of these guys are Andrew Luck, none of these guys are Peyton Manning, none of these guys you just sit there and go, 'This is a slam dunk, this is an easy one,'" Mayock said. "So if you're concerned about all three of those quarterbacks, then I think the next question becomes, 'Who is the best position player in this draft, how does that fit into our needs and if somebody wants to come and trade with us and we'd better be wide open for business? So that's kind of a long way of saying 'I don't know who their quarterback is right now, and I don't think they do.'"
The mostly highly discussed non-quarterback option is defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.
"If they took the Clowney kid and paired him with J.J. Watt, that would be pretty awesome, and it would start to kind of parallel what Seattle tried to do, which is getting talented pass rushers and getting after quarterbacks," Mayock said. "If they went after the wide receiver (Sammy Watkins) at No. 1, would it be surprising? Yeah, but that kid is special. So I think they've got an awful lot of options, but the whole thing is triggered by whether or not you think there's a franchise quarterback that fits what you want to do."
That question will be picked apart ad nauseam from this week's NFL Scouting Combine until the draft on May 8.