Charley Casserly: Jadeveon Clowney's fit in 3-4 is a question

Houston Texans general manager Rick Smith continues to talk about potentially trading the overall No. 1 pick in the draft.

While there are tons and tons of hot air emanating from NFL GMs at this time of the year, a reason the Texans legitimately could be interested in trading the pick is that they aren't sold on Jadeveon Clowney.

Indeed, former Texans general manager Charley Casserly said Friday on NFL Network's "NFL AM" that the Texans might think more highly of Buffalo outside linebacker Khalil Mack but realize they don't need to take him No. 1.

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"I don't think they're sold on Clowney to fit in the '34' defense," Casserly said.

But Casserly also said if the Texans can't trade the pick, "they're going to take" Clowney.

Clowney (6-foot-5, 266 pounds) was a defensive end at South Carolina and rarely dropped into coverage; while his main emphasis in the 3-4 obviously would be to rush the passer, he still would occasionally be asked to drop into coverage. Mack was a 3-4 linebacker in college and "is a better fit in the '34' than Clowney," Casserly said.

If Houston does find a trade partner, "I think Khalil Mack is the guy that they've penciled in or one of the quarterbacks, depending upon where they go farther back," Casserly said.

Houston needs to come out of the draft with a quarterback, but when the Texans grab the quarterback is the second-biggest question surrounding the team. The first, of course, is what they do with the top pick.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.