"I just think I should be the No. 1 pick taken in the draft, overall. So we'll see how that goes," Clowney said Thursday on the Dan Patrick Show.
Among the pundits who agree with Clowney's self-evaluation are NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah and ESPN's Todd McShay, who has the pass rusher slated to be taken by the Houston Texans with the first pick in his latest mock draft. McShay described Clowney as "the most talented player in this class," and raved about the possible pairing with Texans All-Pro defensive end J.J. Watt.
Creating a potential issue for Clowney, though, are bone spurs in his right foot that will likely require surgery. However, he revealed in his interview with Patrick that he intends to postpone the surgery indefinitely.
"I doubt it," he said when asked if the surgery would happen after the combine. "It just depends on what the teams want, that get me in the draft. They want me to get it, I'll get it. If they don't, it shouldn't bother me. I'll try to wait until the next offseason to get it done."
Clowney finished his junior season with three sacks and 11.5 tackles for a loss after racking up 13 sacks and 23.5 tackles for a loss in his sophomore campaign. The drop off in production coupled with questions of his effort drew criticism for Clowney, but many expect strong numbers at the 2014 NFL Combine to show off his unique athleticism.