NEW YORK -- The Houston Texans kept us guessing until the bitter end, but the mystery of this year's first overall draft pick has been solved.
Jadeveon Clowney has been crowned king of the 2014 NFL Draft, picked by a Texans team that ignored the quarterback position Thursday night in favor of the most electrifying and fearsome defensive prospect around.
The South Carolina pass rusher who dazzled at the combine with his freakish athletic gifts now joins forces with 2012 Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt. That's enough to keep quarterbacks up at night with Freddy Krueger-level nightmares into the next decade.
There were whispers along the way that Houston had fallen for linebacker Khalil Mack, but Clowney's insane measurables and tantalizing ceiling were too tempting to pass up.
The Around the League team had a chance to see Clowney in the flesh this week and he appears like an ethereal being. Confident, too, having promised Wednesday that if he landed with the Texans, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck "better have his head on a swivel."
Aspects of Clowney's game remain raw, leaving NFL Films guru Greg Cosell to tell us last month: "If you're going to draft Clowney with the first pick in the draft, then you're basically saying he's going to be a dominant pass rusher because you don't draft defensive ends to stop the run with the first pick in the draft."
It now falls on coordinator Romeo Crennel to make the most of Jadeveon's outrageous gifts.
Star linebacker Brian Cushing is pumped for the arrival of Clowney. He gushed over his new teammate in a text to NFL Media's Albert Breer, saying, "tremendous ability and we will show him how to work, play relentless and be a pro."
The Texans are more than one player away from returning to glory. Coach Bill O'Brien still lacks a difference-maker under center, but that can't be said of Houston's defensive front, which now has the requisite juice to make the AFC South less of a laugher in 2014.The "Around The League Podcast" broke down all of Round 1's biggest moments. Click here to listen and subscribe.