Ryan Mallett to the Houston Texans?

Texans could take Clowney AND trade for Ryan Mallett

1/19/14 in NFL   |   ZacWassink   |   72 respect

Dec 15, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Ryan Mallett (15) takes the field before a game against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY SportsPerhaps the Houston Texans will be starting a quarterback in 2014 that was acquired via something other than a first round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Rumors swirling around the NFL, speculation that has made its way to Cleveland sports talk radio, are claiming that the Houston Texans, currently in possession of the first overall pick in the upcoming draft, could be interested in New England Patriots backup quarterback Ryan Mallett. Mallett, who has also been linked by some with the Cleveland Browns, could cost Houston a second round pick.

The Texans, a franchise that hasn't at all been shy about the fact that they are open to shopping their first round pick, will have to choose one of several options and likely do so before the start of free agency on March 11. Houston could hold onto the first pick and take one of three quarterbacks – Teddy Bridgewater out of Louisville, UCF's Blake Bortles, or Texas A&M phenom Johnny Manziel – or the Texans could grab defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.

Clowney's draft stock, which is already high, could skyrocket once he works out for NFL clubs next month. Texans owner Bob McNair offered high praise regarding the defensive prospect, saying the following earlier this week:

“He is a remarkable player. He's one of these players that is really a once-in-every-10-years kind of physical specimen that comes along. Mario Williams was that way. I think Clowney is actually a better athlete than Mario, so that kind of tells you what kind of player he can be.”

“Like many of these fellows who have these great physical attributes, they didn't have to work as hard in junior high school, in high school, and in college, to be a superlative athlete, because they had this natural ability.”

Houston trading down could prove to be risky business if the club wants Clowney. The St. Louis Rams hold the second overall pick, and several mock drafts that have been published over the past month have had the Rams taking the DE if he is on the board.

The Texans could fill two gaps by drafting Clowney first overall and then trading for Mallett. The 25-year old who was taken by the Patriots in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft has spent three seasons learning under future Hall of Fame QB Tom Brady. Mallett is listed at 6'6'' and 245 pounds, and there are knowledgeable football people who believe that he has the goods to star on Sundays.

Houston going this route would have a massive impact on the draft. It would leave the three top QB prospects on the board when the Rams, who aren't expected to take a quarterback and could also be willing to trade down, are called to the podium. St. Louis taking offensive tackle Jake Matthews would not be a surprise regardless of what the Texans do, meaning that the Jacksonville Jaguars, sitting at third overall in the draft, could have their pick of QBs.

And what of the Browns? Cleveland certainly needs a quarterback, and there are fans of the franchise out there who want the team to trade up to No. 1 overall in the draft in order to snag the young man known as Johnny Football. ESPN NFL Draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. is, in mid-January, predicting that the Texans will take Manziel this May.

Not everybody is convinced.

Rumors and teams utilizing gamesmanship through public comments are commonplace this time of year for teams that aren't prepping for conference championship games. You can now add “Clowney and Mallett to the Texans” to a list that is only going to grow and grow over the next two months.

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