With Sunday's loss to the Tennessee Titans, the Houston Texans secured the worst record in the NFL and clinched the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 Draft. Houston might not be able to zero in on a draft target until after a new coach is in place -- that situation could be settled soon -- but speculation will begin immediately.
Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater, Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel and Fresno State's Derek Carr are three of the most intriguing quarterback prospects, although Bridgewater and Manziel have yet to formally declare early eligibility for the draft. Carr is a senior.
Bridgewater just capped his junior season with one of his career-best performances in the Russell Athletic Bowl, completing 35 of 45 passes for 447 yards and three touchdowns in a 31-9 blowout of Miami. Bridgewater finished the season with 31 touchdown passes to just four interceptions and led the NCAA in completion percentage at 70.9, making for an attractive Texans option if he makes himself eligible.
If the Texans address one of the needs Jeremiah identified with the top pick, that would leave South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, assuming he turns pro as expected, to the waiting arms of a club in greater need of pass-rush help early in the first round. Those would include the Jacksonville Jaguars, Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, among others.
Texas A&M's Jake Matthews could provide Houston with an elite left tackle, and there would be no shortage of local support for the pick given than Matthews' father, Bruce, spent a Hall of Fame career on the Houston Oilers' offensive line. Matthews is considered among the elite tackle prospects, along with Michigan's Taylor Lewan and Alabama's Cyrus Kouandjio, who still might return to the Crimson Tide for another season.
Another option for the Texans could be to trade the pick for a lower spot in the first round, perhaps acquiring an elite quarterback or tackle prospect while adding additional picks later in the draft.