Houston picks first, and the prevailing wisdom is that the Texans either will take a quarterback or Clowney. If it's a quarterback, which makes sense, the prevailing wisdom is that Clowney then would fall to the Jaguars at No. 3 because St. Louis -- which picks second -- already has star defensive ends in Chris Long and Robert Quinn and needs an offensive tackle to keep quarterback Sam Bradford upright. The Rams also could be intrigued by Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins. (The idea evidently intrigues Watkins.)
But Rams coach Jeff Fisher likely raised the angst level among Jaguars officials last week when he talked about adding another pass rusher even though the Rams have 105 sacks in the past two seasons. The Rams had 53 in 2013, when Quinn ranked second in the league with 19.
"I've learned over the years that you never have enough pass rushers," Fisher said. "And I think it's not only us, but other teams that are in our situation are creative enough to find ways to get (Clowney) on the field and put him in a position to make plays."
But while adding Clowney to Quinn and Chris Long would have to make a defensive-minded coach such as Fisher absolutely giddy, the Rams' offense was anemic in 2013 (30th overall in total yards, 21st in scoring) and needs help.
Going with an offensive tackle such as Auburn's Greg Robinson or Texas A&M's Jake Matthews (his dad, Bruce, is a longtime Fisher friend) or with Watkins would make offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer's job easier and, presumably, help Bradford reach his potential. Robinson is an especially good run blocker, Matthews might be the top all-around tackle and Watkins would give the Rams a deep threat who can stretch the field.
There's also the possibility that the Rams trade the pick. They own two first-rounders (they also pick 13th), and rumors about the Rams trading the second pick have been around since December. If the Jaguars truly covet Clowney, that scenario has to worry them, too.
Expect even more rumors surrounding Clowney and the top three picks in the next two or three days, as news leaks out about which teams will have met with Clowney before and after his pro day.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.