The Cardinals hold the No. 1 overall pick for April’s NFL draft for the first time since 1958. As the day for the Cards to make their selection draws closer, azcardinals.com will take a look at the last 30 No. 1 overall selections and each player’s impact on the team and league.
NAME/YEAR: Jadeveon Clowney/2014
TEAM: Houston Texans
THE SITUATION: The Texans won only two games in 2013 and had a glaring need at quarterback, but didn’t deem any of the prospects worthy of the No. 1 overall pick. That proved to be a prescient decision, as first-rounders Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater all failed to live up to expectations. The Texans instead zeroed in on Clowney, the athletic marvel from South Carolina.
THE CAREER: Clowney hasn’t been the type of elite sack producer that was hoped, but he’s still an impressive all-around player who is a key cog in the Texans defense. Clowney had his rookie season cut short by injury and has started to blossom of late with 18.5 combined sacks the past two years. Clowney is only 26 years old and seems on his way to a standout NFL career.
THE OTHER OPTIONS IN TOP FIVE: While the Texans grabbed a good player, they missed out on a great one as Khalil Mack went No. 5 overall to the Raiders. The rest of the top-5 left a lot to be desired. The Rams chose Greg Robinson with the second overall pick but got nothing of value from the left tackle. Blake Bortles went No. 3 to the Jaguars and did not prove worthy of the selection. The Bills traded two first-round picks and a fourth-rounder to nab Sammy Watkins at No. 4, which proved to be a poor decision.