NEW YORK -- Just days after Jadeveon Clowney announced in January that he would forego his final year of college eligibility for the NFL draft, Houston Texans owner Bob McNair suggested that star defensive end J.J. Watt would be an ideal mentor for him if he were to be chosen by the Texans. Four months later, less than 48 hours before knowing which team will choose him, Clowney said he agreed fully.
"That'd be great. I always watched him play when I was in college," Clowney said while taking in the NFL Play 60 Youth Football Festival at Chelsea Waterside Park. "Being right beside [Watt] would be even better. He's like a role model to me -- I look up to him when I watch him play."
Absent the Texans trading out of the pick before it is due at the Radio City Music Hall podium shortly after 8 p.m. ET Thursday, the pairing seems very likely -- NFL Media analysts have aligned unanimously on general manager Rick Smith's choice. Earlier this week, McNair declared Clowney the best player in the draft, but also indicated the club was open for business on the trade front.
If the Texans invest in Clowney, they would by extension be investing in Watt's mentoring role, which Clowney would clearly embrace. Scouting questions about Clowney have centered on his work ethic, something for which Watt is well-reputed. If Clowney were to make an immediate impact, the pair could bring about one of the NFL's most devastating pass-rush combinations.
And maybe side-by-side lockers.
Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.