The 249-pound defensive end from Rock Hill, SC was largely expected to be the first pick in this year’s draft, but many questioned if the Atlanta Falcons would trade up to No. 1 or a top four pick or wait for him to fall to them at the sixth pick.
Clowney becomes only the second player in Gamecocks history to be drafted with the first pick behind 1980 Heisman Trophy winner George Rogers.
Clowney will join one of the NFL’s most productive defensive units anchored by marquee players like inside linebacker Brian Cushing and defensive end J.J. Watt.
However, the Texans have an all new coaching staff this season after coach Gary Kubiak was sacked in favor of former Penn State head coach and Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien.
O’Brien brought former Patriots defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel onto his staff to coach the defense.
The Houston Texans will open their season at home against Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins.