In a move that should surprise no one that follows football, South Carolina Gamecocks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney stated Wednesday night that he would be entering the 2014 NFL Draft just minutes after his team defeated the Wisconsin Badgers 34-24. Clowney’s reputation grew to cult-like status after his hit in last year’s Outback Bowl against University of Michigan RB Vincent Smith. The hit forced a fumble, that he recovered.
That hit, set the bar high on expectations for Clowney this season after he recorded 13.5 sacks last year. 2013 saw his production fall short of those expectations, logging just three sacks and 36 tackles while spending most of his season being double-teamed.
While he possesses all the physical tools to be an exceptional player at the next level, there are serious questions regarding his passion for the game as well as character issues. After 2012, many pundits believed that Clowney would be the first overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, but there is a chance that he slips out of the top five with the current draft order filled with teams that need quarterbacks.
The St. Louis Rams own the number two overall pick and they are the only team in the top-five that might not go with a quarterback selection. But where does Clowney fit on that defensive front?
It would be interesting to see what Clowney could do alongside J.J. Watt in Houston, but quarterbacks win games in the NFL, not defensive ends and the Texans need a quarterback.
I don’t see him falling past the Atlanta Falcons at number six, a team in serious need of a pass rusher.
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