Of all the active, ex-Houston Texans whom the team would love a second go-around with this season, few would have picked the former No. 1 overall pick in Jadeveon Clowney. The former South Carolinian Gamecock player was taken first overall in what remains a very weak NFL Draft class. Clowney went over Khalil Mack and Aaron Donald, and if all things were even, Donald was the real first-overall pick.
He just happened to fall to the (then) St. Louis (now Los Angeles) Rams at No. 13, but no one saw Donald being this good. And while Donald is the class's best pick, of the Top 5 players that were actually taken, Clowney's been as good as anyone. Mack's been good, but he had a four-year span where he was anything but elite, and while his best seasons were better than Clowney's best seasons, Clowney's worst seasons may still be better than Mack's.
But that's a debate for a different day. At the end of it all, however, the fact remains that the Houston Texans desperately need someone like Clowney on their team this year. Will Anderson was drafted to be the next Clowney/J.J. Watt and while he's been a beast against the rush, he isn't getting to the quarterback at a high rate. Part of that is due to the team as a whole just not getting a lot of pressure against opposing quarterbacks. Meaning if Clowney was playing the opposite of Anderson, then it's likely that Anderson would have a higher sack rate.
Currently, Clowney is with the Baltimore Ravens, his fourth team in five seasons and he's having arguably his best year yet. He has 30 tackles, 7.5 sacks, and a PFF grade of 80.7 on the season. He'll never be as good as Watt, but Clowney is still a marketed improvement over everyone else the Texans have on the roster currently at the same position and while he isn't very popular in Houston these days, if he did return and help the squad get to the playoffs, a lot of people would forgive him.
Sadly, he's with the Ravens, and the Texans are stuck looking at patchwork options to generate pressure on rival quarterbacks.