HOUSTON — Jadeveon Clowney has his rookie contract with the Houston Texans. Now he needs to learn a new position.
The top overall choice in last month's draft, Clowney signed a four-year contract with the Texans on Friday. Houston has an option for a fifth year, as in all NFL contracts with first-round picks under the current collective bargaining agreement.
A star defensive end since entering South Carolina in 2011, Clowney will become an outside linebacker with the Texans. Rest assured he will have plenty of pass rushing duties, but Houston plans to use him in a stand-up position.
The Texans are moving to a 3-4 alignment and have 2012 Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt as one of their ends.
"For any rookie it's very difficult to make the jump from college to pro. It doesn't really matter if they were drafted No. 1 or undrafted, they're all trying to learn and keep pace with the veterans," new head coach Bill O'Brien said during a recent team workout. "I think he's doing a decent job of and he's working hard at it."
Clowney had 130 tackles, including 47 for losses, and 24 sacks in three seasons at South Carolina. He also set a school record by forcing nine fumbles in his career.
Clowney is the third top overall pick in team history. Houston selected quarterback David Carr in 2002 and defensive end Mario Williams in 2006.