Despite what Houston has indicated about targeting a Quarterback with the first overall pick, this isn’t the same situation as two years ago. The Indianapolis Colts made it very clear they were picking Andrew Luck and the Washington Redskins were more than happy to set things in motion with Robert Griffin III well before draft day. Not only have the Texans not settled on one Quarterback, there’s a considerable chance that they’re going with Jadeveon Clowney to open the draft. Because the two scenarios are significantly different, this leads to several possible scenarios as to how the first few picks could turn out. The ‘What If?’ possibilities. It’s also important to note that one or more trades could happen in the first few picks.

The Clowney Scenario

The Texans taking Clowney at the top then changes the dynamic right off the bat. Now St Louis is on the clock and most pundits have them taking either Auburn OT Greg Robinson or Clemson WR Sammy Watkins.

Jacksonville – Regardless of which player the Rams take, the Jags will have the luxury of taking whichever QB they want, likely UCF’s Bortles at this point because he’s the top rated signal-caller and there are questions with Bridgewater and Manziel. Watkins isn’t really an option here because QB is such a big need.

Cleveland – If Watkins wasn’t taken by the Rams with the second pick, the Browns can snatch him up. If Watkins isn’t available, then the Browns could take a QB to fill their greatest need, or add Buffalo OLB Khalil Mack, which doesn’t address a specific need, but is one of the best players in the draft.

Oakland – At 5, the Raiders could take a QB because Matt Schaub is only a stopgap. They might go for Robinson if the Rams didn’t take him, or Texas A&M OT Jake Matthews given that they let OT Jared Veldheer walk and Rams OT Rodger Saffold failed his physical or nab Mack who wouldn’t fill a need, but is the best player available.

Atlanta – With Clowney gone, the Falcons have options at 6 and could take Mack if he’s available, Robinson or Matthews if still available, or select UCLA OLB Anthony Barr if Mack is off the board.

Tampa Bay – At 7, they could take any of the QBs if they’re still available, take one of the top 2 OTs or perhaps Texas A&M WR Mike Evans. The Bucs would love it if Watkins fell to them, but there’s no chance of that happening because either St Louis or Cleveland will take him, though the Bucs could trade up if they really want him.

Minnesota – They would like one of the QBs to fall to them, preferabaly Bridgewater, according to recent reports, otherwise they’ll look to bolster their secondary with Oklahoma State CB Justin Gilbert or Alabama S HaHa Clinton-Dix. They could also trade back or up depending on who they ultimately want.

Blake-Bortles_Pc8qvO6VgUlThe Quarterback Scenario

If the Texans pass on Clowney, the consensus is that they’ll take Bortles. In that case, then Atlanta will absolutely trade up to #2 to take him, though they might be bidding against teams that want to secure one of the other QBs or one who is interested in Clowney, such as Oakland. The Rams would look to trade back to acquire more picks to fill their needs. This isn’t their only first round pick.

Jacksonville – With Bortles and Clowney gone, the Jags could select either of the remaining top QBs or nab Mack, whom Mel Kiper even has going #1 overall. Whether this scenario is better for them then the one above largely rests in individual preferences for the QBs.

Cleveland – If Watkins is available, he’s the pick, otherwise they’d follow the same logic outlined above in the Clowney scenario (a QB or Mack). Given all the needs facing The Jaguars, Wide Receiver not being one of them, it’s highly likely that Watkins will still be on the board if we follow this scenario.

Oakland – All 3 QBs could be gone at this point, which wouldn’t be good for them since its their biggest need. However they could  have the pick of either OT, Mack or perhaps Watkins who would give them a legitimate #1 receiver, both of which are secondary needs.

St Louis – Ending up here because of the trade with Atlanta, at this juncture, the Rams would take whichever one of the tackles is still available. If they’re both still there, Robinson would be the pick.

Tampa Bay – Like Oakland, if all 3 QBs are gone, then they’d opt for Mack to improve their pass rush, otherwise it’s one of the OTs or Evans.

Minnesota – Same logic applied here as in the Clowney scenario. Their defensive secondary is likely to be bolstered directly by the pick.

Not only will the top pick in the NFL Draft significantly impact the future of the Houston Texans, but depending which route they go, it will provide significantly different opportunities for the seven teams which follow them, or more, if a team trades up into the second spot. The 2014 NFL Draft begins Thursday, May 8th.