The Houston Texans offseason is now in full swing. And after a solid 9-7 regular season, this is a great time to look back and review the decisions made by the Texan’s coaches and front office last year.
The 2014 NFL Draft is a great place to start as those selections certainly have a massive impact on a season. Especially when your team has the number one pick! After the end of last year’s draft, ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. gave the Texans a high grade of “A-“based on those picks.
Here’s a brief look at the Texans’ 2014 Draft Class.
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Wow! Hindsight really is 20/20.. Kiper has now changed his grade for the Texans’ draft to a “C+”. And rightfully so. The decline has a lot to do with the disappointing year had by Houston’s top overall selection.
"“I realize people are lining up to call Jadeveon Clowney a bust and a wasted No. 1 overall pick, but it’s simply way too soon, ” Kiper stated in his latest article on ESPN.com. “We’re talking about a freak athlete who won’t turn 22 years old until Feb. 14. Yes, the draft doesn’t look as good if his health is an issue well into his career, but I’m certainly not closing the door on his potential. Good pick, bad luck, we’ll see.”"
Obviously, we can only hope for the best when it comes to Clowney. And we can only hope that he is still the same, explosive player following his infamous microfracture surgery.
But even outside of the the Texan’s first pick, Houston’s 2014 draft class overall wasn’t very impressive by itself. And the ultimate grade for all of these selections is still very much undecided.
"“Second-rounder Xavier Su’a-Filo is also something of a redshirt, as he didn’t play much at guard and waited his turn behind veteran starters. Tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz saw plenty of the field, but struggled a bit. Alfred Blue turned into a useful player when Arian Foster was out, picking up 528 yards. Tom Savage did see the field, but it was brief exposure. There’s no telling yet what he’s going to be. Louis Nix III landed on IR. In some ways, this looks like a really disappointing class, but the team improved a ton in the win column, and minus a fair analysis of a healthy Clowney, it feels more like an incomplete.”"
I’d have to agree with Kiper here. This draft grade feels more like an incomplete than anything else.
I’m far from ready to give up on Clowney and the potential his addition to this defense could create.
Su’a-Filo will get his chance sooner or later to prove he was worth the high draft pick.
Fiedorowicz, a tight end I really liked prior to the draft, will get every opportunity to become his quarterback’s security blanket in the future.
And no one knows what to expect from Nix, who was once touted as a first round talent. 2015 will essentially be his rookie year.
Finally, I really like how Blue performed as a back-up running back and special teams player. I expect to see him grow more into those roles in 2015.
Obviously, when you have the top pick in the draft, expectations are high. And for Texans’ fans, those expectations need to be put on hold…at least for another year.
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