Jadeveon Clowney has turned into the defensive monster the Texans expected when they drafted him No. 1 overall in 2014.
That’s going to cost the Texans dearly as they try to sign the pass rusher to a long-term extension, with many speculating Clowney’s next contract will make him the highest-paid non-quarterback in the NFL.
Yet Texans general manager Brian Gaine said Friday he’s confident the two sides will come to an agreement.
Goaltending. A battle of the two best goalies in the postseason thus far. Marc-Andre Fleury was spectacular in Vegas’ sweep of the Kings, with 127 saves on 130 shots. Martin Jones has become the wallpaper for the Sharks; he’s always there, but if you notice him, it’s because someone tore through him. Jones was sturdy in Round 1, with 128 saves on 132 shots. His career save percentage is now .931 in the playoffs. Advantage: Even.
Special teams. The Sharks had a middling power play in the regular season (20.6 percent) but were hitting the bull’s-eye against the Ducks (30.0 percent). It was the opposite story for the Golden Knights, who were 11th in the league at 21.4 percent in the regular season but just 1-for-12 against the Kings, the NHL’s best penalty kill. Bad news: The Sharks were second best on the PK in the regular season, at 84.8 percent. Vegas was 12th on the kill (81.4). Advantage: Sharks.
The combined overnight TV rating for Round 1 coverage across ESPN, ESPN2, Fox Sports and NFL Network Thursday night was 8.4, just behind the combined 8.7 for the first round of the 2014 draft, when Jadeveon Clowney went No. 1 to the Texans and “Johnny Football” plummeted to the Browns at No. 22.
But it’s significantly higher than the 6.7, 6.3 and 6.5 combined ratings on ESPN/NFL Network the past three years, according to Austin Karp of SportsBusiness Daily.
Round 1 drew a combined 11.2 million viewers, according to John Ourand of SBJ. That’s up 22% from last year. It was the highest since the 12.4 million average viewers for the Manziel Draft in 2014.
But Mayfield also garnered negative attention in recent years for his on-field antics, which included making an inappropriate gesture toward Kansas’ sideline and planting Oklahoma’s flag on Ohio State’s logo at the 50-yard line after the Sooners’ victory over the Buckeyes.
Mayfield also was arrested last year in Arkansas on charges of public intoxication, disorderly conduct, fleeing and resisting arrest. He reached a plea deal last June and paid fines for several of the charges.