Texans pick South Carolina's Clowney at No. 1

New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - The Houston Texans took South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney with the No. 1 pick Thursday night to kick off the NFL Draft.

He was taken ahead of Auburn offensive tackle Greg Robinson, picked by the St. Louis Rams at No. 2.

And in a surprise, the first quarterback drafted wasn't Johnny Manziel, the firebrand Texas A&M quarterback and former Heisman Trophy winner.

It was Central Florida's Blake Bortles, who went to the Jacksonville Jaguars at No. 3.

The Buffalo Bills traded up five places to take Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins at No. 4 in a deal with the Cleveland Browns that included giving away a first-round pick next year, according to multiple reports.

The Oakland Raiders then selected Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack at No. 5.

Houston's pick ended a seven-year streak of offensive players being selected first since the Texans took defensive end Mario Williams to start the 2006 draft.

Clowney was the second South Carolina player picked No. 1 after running back George Rogers, who taken by the New Orleans Saints in 1981 after winning the Heisman Trophy.

The 6-foot-6 Clowney had 24 sacks in three years for the Gamecocks, including 13 in 2012, when he finished sixth in voting for the Heisman Trophy.

He will join Pro Bowl defensive end J.J. Watt in what could prove to be a formidable pass rush for a team that ended last season on a franchise-worst 14-game losing streak.

A couple of Manziel's teammates were top-10 picks. Tackle Jake Matthews, the son of NFL Hall-of-Famer Bruce Matthews, went No. 6 to the Atlanta Falcons and wide receiver Mike Evans was taken No. 7 by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Browns made another trade, this time with Minnesota, and moved up one spot to No. 8 for Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert. The Vikings, who got a fifth-round pick in the deal, took UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr at No. 9 and the Detroit Lions selected North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron to round out the top 10.

Ebron was drafted hours after he proposed to his girlfriend atop the Empire State Building.

05/08 21:31:40 ET