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Houston Texans Mock Draft Tracker

Houston Texans 2014 NFL Mock Draft Tracker: Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville (David E. Klutho/SI)

What will the Houston Texans do in the 2014 NFL draft? Keep track of all the predictions made in our mock drafts leading up to Round 1 on May 8.

March 5, 2014 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 2.0 (Doug Farrar)

Round 1, pick 1: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

We said: As far as I’m concerned, Clowney’s alleged effort issues aren’t the key to his reduced sack rate in 2013. He uses his ridiculous speed to penetrate through gaps to the backfield far more than he’s given credit for, and it’s his relatively rudimentary technique that gets in the way. Often, Clowney will look to shoot gaps like a running back would, he doesn’t use hand moves at an NFL level, and he gets negated from the side when he’s going after the quarterback. But he also makes a large amount of splash plays in the backfield given the number of blockers he faces, and I see a fairly consistent level of effort — not a lot of “loafs” here. It’s interesting how narratives go forward when the tape shows something else, but I’m thinking that the Texans, and new defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel, won’t be fooled. They’ll recognize Clowney as a unique talent and select him as such.

Feb. 26, 2014 -- 2014 NFL Mock Draft 5.0 (Chris Burke)

Round 1, pick 1: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

We said: You’ll see Blake Bortles in this No. 1 spot across plenty of post-combine mocks. A lot of the signs right now, in late February, point toward new Texans head coach Bill O’Brien nabbing the tall Central Florida QB as his franchise guy. And that may end up being the pick in the long run.

Bridgewater is still here because he’s the best quarterback in this draft and the one most ready to step into an NFL lineup. The Texans have the pieces in place to embark on a Chiefs-like bounceback next season — remember, this was a playoff team in both 2011 and ’12. Bortles may be very good in the long run; same with Johnny Manziel. Bridgewater has a shot to be terrific out of the gate.

Round 2, pick 33: Stephon Tuitt, DE/DT, Notre Dame

We said: Tuitt’s a value pick here — he should be a Round 1 guy, but a shaky 2013 coupled with an untimely foot injury could drive him down.

Feb. 19, 2014 -- 2014 NFL Mock Draft 1.0 (Don Banks)

Round 1, pick 1: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M.

We said: This much is certainly true in mid-February: We don't know yet whether new Texans head coach Bill O'Brien is sold on Manziel's improvisational approach to quarterbacking, with its live-on-the-edge style of playmaking. But we also don't know for certain that O'Brien has to have a traditional pocket passer to run his offense and that he wouldn't come to appreciate Manziel's ability to keep plays alive with his legs, forcing teams to defend him from sideline to sideline. I would think that the dual-threat success of Russell WilsonColin Kaepernick and Cam Newton in recent years has done nothing but help endorse Manziel's unconventional game. Perhaps, as the scouting season wears on, Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, UCF quarterback Blake Bortles or South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney will emerge as talents too great to pass up, or Manziel's maturity issues will scare away owner Bob McNair and a Houston organization that isn't known for risk-taking. But the homestate hero Manziel has that "it'' factor, and the Texans have tried the more mechanical-type quarterback (Matt Schaub) without Super Bowl success. For now, Manziel and the Texans are a marriage too intriguing to ignore.

Feb. 6, 2014 -- 2014 NFL Mock Draft 1.0 (Doug Farrar)

Round 1, pick 1: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville.

We said: The Houston Texans clearly need a franchise quarterback as they start a rebuild under new head coach Bill O’Brien. And though there are several intriguing quarterbacks in this draft class, none possess Bridgewater’s combination of mobility, ability to throw on the run, capability to make every throw, and command of the game that will pay dividends at the next level. Size is a concern, but take a look at Tom Brady and Drew Brees — NFL training programs can make quarterbacks better, faster and stronger, and Bridgewater has everything else needed to succeed.

Jan. 9, 2014 -- 2014 NFL Mock Draft 4.0 (Chris Burke)

Round 1, pick 1: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville.

We said: The pre-draft process can feel rather interminable, so most prominent prospects trek through ebbs and flows in their hype. Right now, Bridgewater’s in a bit of a lull. Blame it on Louisville playing an early bowl game or focus falling on Blake Bortles and Johnny Manziel. Whatever the reason, Bridgewater has slipped out of the spotlight a bit.

So, here’s your reminder: This is the best quarterback in the 2014 class. Bridgewater has shown time and again what he is capable of on the field, and The MMQB’s Greg Bedard recently highlighted what a sharp football mind he has: “You’d be hard-pressed to find many, if any, college quarterbacks that are asked to do [as much as Bridgewater is],” Bedard wrote, “especially at 21 years old and in a completely full-field read progression system.”

There’s no use picking through the remaining prospects to figure out who should go No. 1 when the answer is staring us in the face.

Dec. 5, 2013 -- 2014 NFL Mock Draft 3.1 (Chris Burke)

Round 1, pick 1: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

We said: Expect the Texans to finish out their evaluation of Case Keenum in Weeks 14-17, but this franchise needs a new start under center. In Bridgewater, they would add the best quarterback in this year’s class to a talented offense already stockpiled with players like Andre Johnson, DeAndre Hopkins and Ben Tate.

Sept. 24, 2013 -- 2014 NFL Mock Draft 2.0 (Chris Burke) 

Round 1, pick 29: Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin

We said: Hard to ignore the momentum Gordon has generated over the first four weeks of the season, in rushing for 624 yards and seven TDs with an 11.8 yards-per-carry average. With Ben Tate likely to leave next offseason for a No. 1 gig elsewhere, the Texans will be in the market for another Arian Foster sidekick.

April 30, 2013 -- 2014 NFL Mock Draft 1.0 (Chris Burke)

Round 1, pick 29: Christian Jones, LB, Florida State

We said: Something tells me Jones, who had 95 tackles last season, will ultimately be picked higher than this. He can get into the backfield, diagnose plays and track down running backs. Jones could develop into the total package.

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