If he has his way he will. The standout defensive end from the University of South Carolina has stated publicly that he intends to be the #1 overall draft pick in the upcoming NFL draft. His combination of size and speed has many scouts in awe of his potential as a defensive player that may have game changing ability if he develops.
Jadeveon Clowney seems to have most of the measurables that a team looking for a defensive end might be looking for. He stands an impressive 6’6” tall and weighs in at 266lbs which gives him the length and the bulk to deal with the massive NFL offensive lineman that he will be dealing with day in and day out.
At the combine, Clowney ran a blazing 4.47 in the 40 yard dash. To put that in perspective a 4.47 is a better time than the majority of the wide receivers who participated in this drill. This means that he will have the speed to chase down almost any player on any team in the NFL.
During the 2012 season Clowney recorded 13 sacks in the nation’s toughest conference and made a highlight reel tackle (see below) during the Outback bowl against Michigan. During his 2013 campaign he only produced 3 sacks and several questions regarding his character began to surface.
The flip side of the Clowney argument is that perhaps he lacks the work ethic to succeed in the NFL every week of the season. His 3 sacks have led analysts and broadcasts to wonder if he was working hard enough on and off the field. Early in the season he could be seen with his hands on hips after plays which is a clear indicator of fatigue, a tell sign that an athlete’s conditioning may be lacking.
During his bench press work out he put up 225lbs just 21 times, a punter was able to do this 23 times and many defensive lineman get closer to 25 or 30. While this was not a terrible showing it might give scouts the impression that if he is locked up with a blocker that he may lack strength to assert himself, especially during running plays where contact with a blocker is almost inevitable.
Another issue with Clowney might be his maturity and reasoning. In December Clowney got not one but two speeding tickets for going 110mph and 84mph. For a player that is a sure-fire 1st round pick this may show some immaturity on his part. After all, his focus and work ethic has come into question already due to his production but now he is showing little regard for his potential NFL contract by driving at dangerous speeds.
Jadeveon Clowney made a huge splash during 2012 with amazing production and a crushing tackle during a televised game that immediately propelled him to the top of many draft boards. Since then he has had more questions raised about his character and work ethic than his physical ability on the field. While some may see these red flags and be down on Clowney there is no doubt that there will be a team that believes they can work with him and give him the focus he needs to become a dominant player on the NFL level. While he may not go 1st overall I firmly believe that his combination of size and speed as well as his potential will get him drafted very early in the first round.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Pete Kontakos enjoys all types of sports like Football, Wrestling and Mixed martial Arts. Pete is a USA Wrestling certified wrestling coach and he often reads the US Vitamin Injections blog for general health and fitness information.
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