The 2014 NFL Draft is bound to have a few surprises, but it would be a shock to just about everybody if the Houston Texans selected somebody other than Jadeveon Clowney or a top quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick. Sure, there are names being thrown out there such as Auburn offensive tackle Greg Robinson, but let's face it -- unless the team trades back in the draft, there's little chance the Texans pass up one of the most talented players in the draft or their future franchise quarterback.
The team is doing its due diligence with the pick, though, and that includes bringing in top-rated linebacker Khalil Mack for a visit. Although he's not in the same category as Clowney in terms of how he's graded coming out of college, there's little doubt in some minds that he is more tailor-made for Romeo Crennel's defense than anybody else.
"Yes, he is a better fit," NFL Media analyst Charles Davis said about Mack on "Path to the Draft." "If you take a Jadeveon Clowney and are thinking about making him that hybrid outside linebacker, in addition to rushing the passer that he does so well, you're taking away some of his gifts. That's not what he does best."
Davis doesn't really believe the Texans would dare pass up someone as talented as Clowney. In his latest mock draft, Clowney is whom he has the team selecting when it turns the first card in. You can certainly understand the pressing need for Bill O'Brien and company to grab a long-term quarterback option, but players of Clowney's ilk don't exactly walk through the door every draft.
To Davis' original point, it's easy to understand that, in terms of scheme, there is a case to be made that Mack fits in better with the Texans' 3-4 defense playing alongside Brian Cushing and J.J. Watt. Given the smile on Crennel's face after working out Clowney at his pro day, though, it's hard to imagine him making the argument to take Mack first even if the "fit" is better.
"With the dropping responsibilities, I think I'd give an edge to Khalil Mack," fellow analyst Daniel Jeremiah said. "But when you talk about a better overall football player, it's Jadeveon Clowney. Today most teams are flexible in their scheme and will find a way to make it work. Pick Jadeveon Clowney going forward."
Go ahead and do your due diligence, Texans -- you never know when an unbelievable offer will come in to trade down on draft day. But at the end of the day, remember that when it comes down to things beyond scheme and beyond fit, Clowney is the highest graded player on the board ahead of Mack.
Follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter @BryanDFischer.