Jadeveon Clowney, Blake Bortles and Toby Gerhart
Whether the Houston Texans will select a quarterback with the top pick of the draft is anyone's guess.
What isn't in question, at least according to Texans owner Bob McNair, is how the team plans to handle a rookie quarterback.
Suffice it to say the Texans will do things differently than they did them when they used the top overall pick in 2002, the first choice in franchise history, on quarterback David Carr.
If McNair had it to do over, he said he would have never started Carr as a rookie and subjected him to the physical (and mental) pounding he took that contributed to his ultimately washing out.
"I think the main thing I look back on is that we should have had a veteran quarterback in there," McNair told the Houston Chronicle. "We should have let him start the season and let David learn what it takes to be an NFL quarterback."
The Texans have experienced quarterbacks on the roster in Ryan Fitzpatrick, Case Keenum, and T.J. Yates. Could McNair's comments mean that one of them would be the starter on opening day? It could, although that might depend on which quarterback the Texans draft and when they select him. Would Blake Bortles or Johnny Manziel be sitting and watching at the start of the regular season as the first overall pick?
That would be an interesting decision, to say the least.
Additionally, McNair pointed out that the Texans need to give their quarterback far better pass protection than they gave Carr.
"We weren't able to give Carr the kind of protection we thought he should have," McNair said. "I don't put a lot of blame on him."
McNair isn't alone in his thoughts that a rookie should sit and watch while a veteran starts through most, if not all, of that first season.
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne also said that was the way to go. Now, that is the understandable perspective from a veteran at the position on a team that is expected to draft a quarterback.
However, Henne's thinking is influenced by what he experienced when he joined the Miami Dolphins as a second-round draft pick and had a chance to watch and learn from veteran quarterback Chad Pennington.
As far as Henne was concerned, avoiding being immediately thrust into the starting role provided a necessary chance to recover from the whirlwind that most rookie quarterbacks experience from the end of their final college season.
"You go from the Senior Bowl to the Combine and then you really never take a couple months off," Henne said told the Florida Times Union. "You need a break to get your mind at ease and get accustomed to being an NFL player."
JADEVEON CLOWNEY 'TIRED' OF QUESTIONS ABOUT WORK ETHIC
By now, Jadeveon Clowney has had more than his fill of questions regarding his work ethic.
"I've been tired of it, but you have to keep doing it," the former South Carolina defensive end told the Associated Press.
Yes, for about 10 more days. Then, the NFL Draft will begin and Clowney's work ethic will give way to talk about which team has drafted him and where.
And, as far as Clowney is concerned, there is no reason for concern about how hard he works.
"I think I work just as hard as anybody," Clowney said. "If you pick me and pair me with guys, I'm going to try and outwork them also."
TIME FOR THE NFL TO ADD DEVELOPMENTAL LEAGUE?
Since the NFL did away with its European league, there has been discussion about the need for another developmental league.
Troy Vincent, the NFL's new director of football operations, said that talk is happening at the highest levels at the league because players aren't the only ones who need some live-game seasoning.
"We need to keep the pipeline of talent flowing, and that means for all areas of our game: players, coaches, scouts, game officials," Vincent told the Associated Press. "I am responsible to look at whatever the Competition Committee looks at, and that includes a developmental league.
"For all this football talent around, we have to create another platform for developing it. Maybe it's an academy – what would it look like? Maybe it's a spring league; we'll look to see if there is an appetite for it."
TOBY GERHART LOOKS FORWARD TO CHANCE TO BE PRIMARY BACK
For his four seasons in the NFL, Toby Gerhart has lived in the shadow of Adrian Peterson.
That's life for any running back not named Adrian Peterson on the Minnesota Vikings.
But now that Gerhart is a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars, he seems to be in position to be the sort of workhorse that Peterson was in Minnesota.
"I had the skill set to be a starter from the onset, but I was playing behind one of the best in the game," Gerhart said told the Florida Times-Union. "I've gotten comfortable with the speed of the game, but don't have the wear and tear on my body of someone carrying it 250 times a year.
"I think I'm in a unique situation. Even though it's my fifth year in the league, I can come in and be a dominant guy. I'm ready for my shot now."
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