HOUSTON -- His words in the days before the NFL draft suggested confidence, as if Jadeveon Clowney knew something everyone else didn't.
It only seemed that way from afar.
The truth was, Clowney knew for sure that the Houston Texans would take him with the No. 1 overall pick only three minutes before their clock expired -- when they called him to tell him so. Then the tears fell from Clowney's eyes as he realized a scenario he'd predicted years before.
"I'm feeling overwhelmed," Clowney said Thursday night in New York City. "I'm feeling great right now. It's just a blessing, man. I appreciate it. I'm just glad to be a part of the Houston Texans."
The Buffalo Bills moved up five spots to pick receiver Sammy Watkins at No. 4, sending the ninth overall selection and their 2015 first-round pick to the Cleveland Browns in order to nab the former Clemson star. Cleveland also received Buffalo's fourth-round pick in 2015.
It was one of three trades involving the Browns, who also moved up four spots to No. 22 to use their second first-round pick on Johnny Manziel, the polarizing 2012 Heisman winner.
The Texans made Clowney the first defensive player selected first overall since they took defensive end Mario Williams in 2006.
The similarities don't stop there. Clowney will wear No. 90, the number Williams wore before leaving the Texans for Buffalo in free agency after the 2011 season.
"I think I have a lot to prove to people," Clowney said. "That's what I'm looking forward to, proving a lot of people wrong. I'm just ready to get down and get going with the Houston Texans."
Clowney joins a team that finished 2013 on a 14-game losing streak, has a new coach and still has uncertainty at quarterback. Coach Bill O'Brien said the team will take a quarterback at some point in the draft.
But while three quarterbacks were selected in Thursday's opening round, Houston didn't trade back into the round to get one.
The Texans considered trading the top pick, and remained open to the prospect throughout the process. But their asking price was steep.
"At the end of the day, that never materialized," general manager Rick Smith said. "We always felt very confident in the selection. And so we were very bullish in what we were asking for because we felt so good about the pick."
Although Houston thought an offer might come while it was on the clock, none did, making its decision clear.
The Texans are listening to offers and remain open to moving the first pick in Friday's second round, a team official told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
Though some questioned Clowney's work ethic, the Texans never did. They didn't see any problems on film and took as confirmation the word of strength coach Craig Fitzgerald, who worked with the star pass-rusher at South Carolina.