Houston Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph has both personal and professional reasons to have his fingers crossed for the club to draft South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney with the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft May 8.
Personally, it would be hard to top two former Gamecocks, both as first-round picks, reuniting in the NFL after growing up together in Rock Hill, S.C. While their college paths never crossed in Columbia (Clowney was just 13 the year Joseph was drafted), the two have known each other since Clowney was even younger, according to houstontexans.com.
But it's the potential pairing of Clowney with Texans star defensive end J.J. Watt as a dynamic pass-rushing duo that would give any cornerback cause for excitement. NFL wide receivers can't be covered for long, and two dominant defensive ends can make a cornerback's job exponentially easier than one can.
"Obviously, I would like for him to go number one, just because he's a friend of mine," Joseph said. "He's a great talent. But it's not my call. Not my decision to make. ... If we took a guy like him, he could make big dividends for this defense, with J.J. Watt."
If the Texans choose to wait until a later draft round to address their need for a quarterback, Clowney could easily be their target with the top pick. And while Joseph won't be inside the Texans' war room on draft day, someone who will be inside -- club owner Bob McNair -- has given some thought to the Clowney-Watt pairing, as well.
And he doesn't have to cross his fingers like Joseph. He just has to write the check.
Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.