Jadeveon Clowney will join the Houston Texans after being selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Clowney was SB Nation's top-rated player heading into draft day due to his potentially once-in-a-generation combination of size and explosiveness. He also dealt with the standard questions about his attitude that seem to come with all potentially great draft picks.
Nolan Nawrocki and Merril Hoge were two of Clowney's biggest critics, throwing vague phrases like "needs to learn what it means to be a pro" and resorting to "atrocious" hyperbole. There are legitimate questions as to why Clowney didn't put up all-world numbers during his final season at South Carolina that were unfortunately clouded by easy rhetoric.
Others who watched Clowney's tape, like retired NFL defensive end Stephen White, loved what they saw with minor caveats.
In many ways, I'm pretty puzzled (and somewhat disappointed) as to how Clowney could have played that much in college and still be this raw technique-wise. It's also because he is still so raw that makes him so attractive as the top overall pick. Unless we find out that Clowney repeatedly refused to learn new things, he should be viewed as a ball of clay just waiting to be molded into an ass-kicking, pass-rushing monster.
Good luck, AFC South
Good luck, AFC South
In Houston, Clowney will form a fearsome pass rushing tandem with J.J. Watt. The Texans arguably have a bigger need at quarterback, and had been rumored to be targeting Johnny Manziel for some time. Instead, they opted for the best player available from a pure talent standpoint. The Texans' defense could be one of the best in the NFL next season if Clowney fulfills his massive hype.
Clowney was a three-year starter at South Carolina, where he earned numerous accolades for his high level of play. He amassed 24 sacks over three seasons, including 13 in 2012. His production dropped off in 2013 to just three sacks, but that didn't stop most experts from ranking him among the top five prospects and pegging him as a potential first overall pick. Clowney was a first-team All-in 2013 and a unanimous All-American in 2012. He was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year in 2012 and made first-team All-SEC in 2012 and 2013.
NFL Combine results
Weight: 266 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.53 seconds
Bench press: 21 reps of 225 pounds
Vertical jump: 37.5 inches
Broad jump: 124 inches
3-cone drill: 7.27 seconds
Clowney had an exceptional showing at the NFL Scouting Combine. His 40-yard dash time of 4.53 seconds was phenomenal for a player of his size and at his position. When he worked out at South Carolina's pro day, there were plenty on hand to witness it. He didn't double up on the combine measurements, but instead worked on position drills. He was quick and did not make mistakes, impressing most everyone in attendance, as expected.