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O'Brien: Manziel's style could work, team still looking at Clowney

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer

More NFL offseason: Mock Drafts | Prospect Rankings | Pro Days | Top free agents

We still don't know what the Texans will do when it comes time for them to take the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. Most of us assume Houston will grab a quarterback -- with Blake Bortles the odds-on favorite at this point -- but it also seems clear that South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is a unique talent that could make the Texans defense even nastier.

Johnny Manziel, meanwhile, said if the Texans pass on him at No. 1, it'd be the worst mistake they ever made, and though that line probably doesn't scare coach Bill O'Brien, he did speak nicely of him at the owners' meeting Tuesday when he was asked if Manziel's style of play is sustainable in the NFL.

"Oh yeah," O'Brien said. "If you watch some of his games, obviously he's a very exciting player when he breaks the pocket and he runs. But if you watch the Ole Miss game (when Manziel injured his knee), he came back and he threw from the pocket in that game. If you watch him, he's going to be able to do a lot of different things. It's sustainable."

Houston will have an interest in speaking to Jadeveon Clowney at his pro day. (USATSI)
Houston will have an interest in speaking to Jadeveon Clowney at his pro day. (USATSI)

But what about Clowney? Would Houston really have interest enough to eschew a possible franchise quarterback to take him?

Well, owner Bob McNair said in January that Clowney "is a remarkable player" and that he's "one of these players that's a once every 10 years kind of physical specimen" and that Clowney is a better athlete than Mario Williams.

Though Clowney has been criticized for his not-so-impressive combine performance on the bench press (relatively speaking, of course), the rest of his workout was fairly outstanding. And it seems likely that Clowney is still a candidate to be taken at No. 1.

"With a guy like Clowney, I don't think you base a large percentage of your decision on what he benched," O'Brien said. "A large percent is based on what type of guy he is. We [interviewed] him at the combine for 15 minutes, and now, we'll go to South Carolina to his pro day and get to know him a little bit better. You base it on that, but it's also on what you see on the tape."

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