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Report: Houston Texans ‘leaning’ toward Johnny Manziel or Blake Bortles with top pick

Eric Edholm
Shutdown Corner

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Johnny Manziel (USA Today Sports Images)

Draft information this time of year, particularly when it comes to quarterbacks, must be taken with a massive dose of suspicion. After all, a year ago, some folks were talking about Geno Smith, Matt Barkley and even Ryan Nassib as top-10 picks. (And you thought we forgot.)

But Russ Lande, writing for Sports On Earth, says that the Houston Texans right now are "leaning" toward taking one of two quarterbacks — either Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel or Central Florida's Blake Bortles — with the first overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft.

New head coach Bill O'Brien was enamored by Bortles, who beat O'Brien's Penn State Nittany Lions with a strong performance in September. And yet Texans owner Bob McNair reportedly favors Manziel and likely knows what a draw he'd be for the team. Per Lande, O'Brien is hesitant on Manziel, unsure if he "possesses the work ethic and intangibles necessary to be the face of a franchise."

No word on what the Texans think about Lousiville's Teddy Bridgewater, but if Lande's report is to be believed, it's a pretty clear sign the team is not as high as many mock drafters, who routinely populated him in the No. 1 spot this college football season, have been.

South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney has the talent to be picked first overall, but he might not possess the work ethic either for O'Brien's liking, even if McNair — a Gamecock for life, we might note — has openly sung Clowney's praises already.

Still, why would the Texans let this information get out when trading the pick remains a viable option? Perhaps they'll end up keeping it, but a desperate team armed with picks such as the Cleveland Browns might be more likely to move up and give up a ransom to do so.

It's early. This information might be fascinating now and perhaps even valuable and accurate later, but we still have three months for everything to change.

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Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

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