We all knew Jadeveon Clowney was fast. The only question was how fast.
Try 4.53 in the 40-yard dash. That's the absurd number the 6'5, 266-pound defensive end out of South Carolina posted on Monday at the 2014 NFL Combine. That's faster than 26 wide receivers that ran yesterday. TWENTY-SIX. That freakish blend of size and speed is going to be hard for the Houston Texans to pass on in the draft.
Here's the gif of Clowney burning up the track.
And here's his 40 superimposed over that of Johnny Manziel, who ran a 4.68. Needless to say, Johnny won't be outrunning Clowney in any NFL backfields.
Warren Sapp can't believe what he's watching.
Perhaps the only person that isn't impressed with Clowney is Auburn's Dee Ford, who took a rather amusing shot at his SEC rival on Sunday.
Dee Ford says Clowney "plays like he's a blind dog in a meat house." Yes, Monday's drills just got that much more interesting.— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) February 23, 2014
Apparently that means that's a weird metaphor for Clowney relying too much on his athleticism, which is what Ford explained on Sunday to NFL Network. He also said he didn't mean it as a personal attack and described Clowney as "my guy." The two could be seen chatting and laughing at one point during the drills.
Unfortunately, that was as close as either got to running the drills. Ford was shut down as a medical scratch on Monday, and Clowney was picking and choosing his events because of a hip flexor issue. He skipped the on-field drills, but was healthy enough to run an absurd 40 time, post a 10'4 long jump and a 37.5" vertical jump.
Speed has obviously been the focus of Clowney's training regimen, because his 21 reps on the bench press are rather unimpressive for his size, although his long arms may partially be to blame. Thirty-six defensive lineman posted higher numbers on Monday, and Clowney was 14 reps behind what Mario Williams had in 2006. It really gets silly when you consider that Miami punter Pat O'Donnell had 23 reps last year.
The man with the second-highest bench reps was Aaron Donald, who cemented his place as one of the top defensive tackles. He also ran a 4.65 in the 40, which is blazing for a guy that weighs 285 pounds. Florida State defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan also ran a sub-5.00, though his decision to fashion his shirt into a weird sports bra can't be helping his draft stock.
Jernigan's burst off the line was strong, as his 1.72 second split through the first 10 yards showed plenty of quickness off the line. Missouri's Michael Sam, who is looking to be the first openly gay player in the NFL, wasn't as impressive.
Timmy Jernigan 38 pounds heavier, same 10yd split RT @SBNationCFB: Michael Sam runs unofficial 4.79 with 1.72 split at 261 pounds.— TomahawkNation.com (@TomahawkNation) February 24, 2014
Between the mediocre 40-yard dash for Sam and a 25.5" vertical, it wasn't a strong showing for the Missouri All-American, although he wasn't expected to put up anything close to Clowney's numbers. Instead most of the focus from the NFL Network commenters was on his "stiff hips."
Stiffness seemed to plague Notre Dame's Louis Nix as well, as the large defensive tackle made waves in the broad jump. The type of waves that Jeff Goldblum knows all about.
One of the more disappointing performances came from Arizona State defensive tackle Will Sutton, who was among the slowest prospects of the week. His 5.35 and 5.47 unofficial times trailed the rest of the field and came after he lost weight following the Senior Bowl.