Jadeveon Clowney first defensive player picked No. 1 since 2006

Scott Halleran

Since 1967, only 15 defensive players have been taken first overall.

For the first time since the 2006 draft, a defensive player is the first pick in the NFL Draft.

The Houston Texans used the top choice to select South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. In 2006, the Texans used the top pick on defensive end Mario Williams.

Although history proves that Williams was the right choice for Houston in 2006 – instead of running back Reggie Bush – he still only played six seasons for the Texans. He did, however, go to two Pro Bowls while playing for Houston while accumulating 53 sacks.

Since 1967, the year of the AFL/NFL merger, there have only been 15 defensive players picked first overall. Of those 15, including Clowney, 10 have been defensive ends.

Picking a pass rusher has been something of a trend for the Texans. In addition to Williams, the team picked pass rushing linebacker Whitney Mercilus in the first round in 2012, defensive end JJ Watt in the first round in 2011 and pass rushing linebacker Connor Barwin in the second round in 2009.

How Clowney can play with Watt will determine if he becomes a player worth the first overall pick, or a player like Williams or Barwin, who has also no longer a Texan.

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