Texans take DE Clowney with first pick in NFL Draft

Thu May 8, 2014 11:33pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Houston Texans beefed up their defensive line by taking extraordinary pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney from the University of South Carolina with the first pick of the 2014 National Football League Draft on Thursday.

The Texans, picking first after a league-worst 2-14 season, kicked off the annual selection party at Radio City Music Hall by taking defensive end Clowney to partner two-time All-Pro DE J.J. Watt, the league Defensive Player of the Year in 2012.

"I'm going to do everything I can to help the program," said Clowney, who registered 24 sacks and 130 tackles in three seasons and became the first sophomore to win the Hendricks Award as the nation's most outstanding defensive end.

"To be the number one pick is the greatest feeling in the world."

Commissioner Roger Goodell was subjected to some jeering as he officially opened the draft, which produces the primary pool of talent for NFL teams as well as plenty to cheer and boo for thousands of fans in attendance decked out in team jerseys.

Clowney was the first of 32 picks in the first round of the draft. Rounds two and three will be held on Friday with the last four rounds conducted on Saturday in the three-day extravaganza.

A freakish athlete, Clowney, who stands 6-feet-5 (1.96 m) and weighs 266 pounds (121 kg), stunned observers at the NFL Scouting Combine in February by running a blistering 4.53 seconds in the 40-yard dash - a time better than many of the wide receivers tested.

The St. Louis Rams used the second pick of the draft to take Auburn offensive tackle Greg Robinson, with the Jacksonville Jaguars grabbing quarterback Blake Bortles of Central Florida University with the third choice.   Continued...

Feb 24, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney jumps the long jump during the 2014 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports