On Tuesday night, Jadeveon Clowney was named to the 2017 Pro Bowl for the first time in his career. Four players were announced as alternates - Whitney Mercilus, Duane Brown, DeAndre Hopkins and Lamar Miller. As I was looking at the four names, three of them in particular, I realized that those three were first-round draft picks for the Texans. That got me thinking again to the draft history of the first rounders for the Texans.
Since 2008, with the selection of Duane Brown, through the 2014 draft when Clowney was drafted first overall, all but one Texan has been named to the Pro Bowl as a player or an alternate. Furthermore, each and every Texans first-round selection during that time frame is still on the team.
How rare is that? No team in the league has as many former first-round Pro Bowlers over that span that are still with their original team. In fact, in the AFC South, there are only two first rounders that made the Pro Bowl still with their respective teams - Andrew Luck, Indianapolis and Taylor Lewan, Tennessee. For context, the Titans, Colts and Jaguars made 19 first-round selections from 2008-2014.
The only team with more first rounders as Pro Bowlers/alternates in the same time frame is the Minnesota Vikings. Rick Spielman and staff hit three years in a row with two picks in the first round that all became Pro Bowlers - Matt Kalil and Harrison Smith in 2012, Xavier Rhodes and Cordarrelle Patterson in 2013 and Anthony Barr and Teddy Bridgewater in 2014. However, the Vikings had only one first rounder from 2008 through 2011.
Dallas has strung together a strong run as well... as much as it pains me to say. The Cowboys didn't have a selection in 2009 but had five in that 2008-2014 time frame. Only four remain with the team, but three of them make up 60 percent of the offensive line that has dominated at times this year - Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick and Zack Martin.
Yet, no team has hit year in and year out like the Texans in the first round of the draft consistently over the past eight seasons.