The Houston Texanshave selected Jadeveon Clowneywith the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft.
Although the Texans are coming off a 2-14 season and have a need at quarterback, they could not pass on Clowney, who has been widely regarded as the top overall prospect in this year's draft class and is considered the best pass-rusher to enter the NFL in years.
The Texans considered trading the No. 1 pick before ultimately deciding Thursday, just hours before the draft, to take Clowney.
"It's been a long time," an emotional Clowney said after leaving the Radio City Music Hall stage. "It just kicked in at the end there, man, I've been drafted."
The 6-foot-5, 266-pounder is the first defensive player to be drafted with the top pick since Mario Williams, who also was taken by the Texans in 2006.
But Clowney recently has faced speculation about his work ethic following his sub-par junior season at South Carolina, where he had just three sacks.
"I just been proving a lot of people wrong throughout my life," Clowney said. "Growing up, I grew up hard. I always said I'm going to do something great. Hopefully, I'm going to be a Hall of Famer one day."
The St. Louis Rams selected Auburnoffensive lineman Greg Robinson with the second overall pick, while the Jacksonville Jaguars took Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles at No. 3.
The Buffalo Bills moved up five spots to pick Sammy Watkins at No. 4 overall, sending the ninth overall selection and their 2015 first-round pick to the Cleveland Browns in order to nab the Clemsonstar wide receiver. Cleveland also received Buffalo's fourth-round pick in 2015.
The Oakland Raiders rounded out the top five by selecting linebacker Khalil Mack.
Clowney was one of college football's most dominant players as a sophomore in 2012, when he recorded 13 sacks and was named the SEC's Defensive Player of the Year.
He figures to form a formidable pass-rushing duo with Texans Pro Bowl defensive lineman J.J. Watt, the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2012.
Jadeveon Clowney Drafted 1st Overall By Texans