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Five predictions for 2014 draft

By John Clayton | ESPN.com

1. The Houston Texans will trade the first pick in the draft. The Texans switched to a 3-4 defense in 2011 and went from being one of the worst defenses in the league to one of the best. But maintaining the outside linebacker position is dragging down the roster. The franchise is drafting high at outside linebacker too often and neglecting other positions. It let former first-rounder Mario Williams and former second-rounder Connor Barwin walk instead of paying them. They have been replaced by Whitney Mercilus and Brooks Reed, first- and second-round picks.

If the Texans take Jadeveon Clowney, they will have used two first-round and two second-round picks on outside linebacker/defensive end types since 2009. If they can't make a trade, it makes sense to take Clowney if they think he's the best player in the draft. But it makes more sense to trade. At the very least, the Texans could likely get a second-round pick this year and a first-rounder next year from the Atlanta Falcons to drop to the sixth overall pick.

The Texans will start by asking for a second- and third-rounder this year and a first-rounder in 2015 along with some midround choices. If they trade down, they probably could get their quarterback -- Johnny Manziel or Blake Bortles -- along with having two of the top five picks in the second round and a first-rounder next year. The alternative is taking Clowney and possibly giving up draft choices to trade into the first round to get a quarterback. Making the trade down is more logical.

AGain ... Its all about Houston dropping there asking price

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AGain ... Its all about Houston dropping there asking price

If the Texans want any buyers for that #1 pick, they will have no choice but too.

Overall, they really have very little to no leverage because of how the draft stacked up when it comes to many teams in the top half of the draft having multiple options because of the quality of prospects of need.

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I think it's about 60% sure if we don't get Clowney, there will be a meltdown on this board.

But I also bet there is a 60% chance there will be a meltdown if we do get Clowney.

I think it is a 100% chance that it will be a meltdown with or without Clowney.

I am also 100% sure that there will be a meltdown after day 2 and day 3 of the draft.

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I think it is a 100% chance that it will be a meltdown with or without Clowney.

I am also 100% sure that there will be a meltdown after day 2 and day 3 of the draft.

Normally it would be a joke to say a message board would crash because of 5'th and later rounders.

I have a feeling it's unfortunately true in this case though.

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