Posted January 01, 2014

South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney declares for 2014 NFL draft

Jadeveon Clowney, NFL Draft, South Carolina Gamecocks
Jadeveon Clowney

South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney has declared for the 2014 NFL draft. (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

It had been alluded to for weeks, including by his own head coach. But South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney officially announced that he will enter the 2014 NFL draft following the Gamecocks’ 34-24 win over Wisconsin in the Capital One Bowl on New Year’s Day. In a postgame interview on ESPN that seemed like it lasted about a second and a half, reporter Tom Luginbill asked Clowney if he was headed to the NFL. Clowney responded with a simple, “Yes, sir.”

Clowney has gone through a crazy 365 days, from his hit on Michigan running back Vincent Smith to his speeding tickets to the constant questions about his commitment from the media. Given his hype entering the year, he would’ve been hard-pressed to live up to expectations no matter how he performed.Though he lacked eye-popping stats, he was double teamed constantly. He also wasn’t fully healthy throughout the year.

None of that changes his potential at the next level, however. Players as big, strong and fast as Clowney come around very rarely, and although the top few picks of the NFL draft tend to shift around like the cup game, it won’t take long for Clowney to hear his name called by commissioner Roger Goodell. The Rams, who acquired the No. 2 overall pick from the Washington Redskins in the RGIII trade, should be in a perfect spot to grab him. If they elect to pass, it’s incredibly unlikely that he’d fall past the Oakland Raiders at No. 5.

On Dec. 30, SI.com’s Chris Burke projected Clowney to the Rams. He wrote:

It’s honestly difficult to envision the Rams — or any team that might trade up to this spot — would pass on a player that could be dominant at the next level. Clowney is the best overall prospect in this class, and he would be more than capable of stepping into whatever role the Rams envisioned for him up front.

17 comments
SolidStateMind
SolidStateMind

The NFL Draft, by definition, is a gamble on each and every player selected: if there was a 'bust/no-bust' guarantee, the Draft would be a boring exercise in which players were just distributed to teams in reverse order of their final records.  There are always questions.  Like Teddy Bridgewater: how will he handle the increased skill level, since UL's schedule was so incredibly weak this year?  Does it matter that the one opponent that they faced who went to a top-tier bowl (UCF) beat them?


To make it worse, a casual fan doesn't have the access necessary to properly evaluate these kids.  Coaching tape, interviews with his position coach, trainers' and team doctor reports on potential injury issues, direct interviews, private investigators to check into friends and acquaintances... The fact is that fans view snapshots of a player's performance- a few plays, a single-game- and then honestly most of you make your judgment based upon what logo is on the helmet, not what is underneath.


I honestly don't know if Clowney is going to succeed at the next level or not.  It is worth noting that his best performances occurred when Melvin Ingram was on the other side of the D-Line, but even if the opposition could come up with a scheme to neutralize Clowney, that's still useful to the Defense.


Personally?  I don't know how Clowney will do in the NFL; He probably ISN'T the next Reggie White... but if he's 'just' another Julius Peppers or Mario Williams, I'm pretty sure that would be good enough for most teams.

thebigdawg3
thebigdawg3

Would be a huge mistake to take this clown anywhere before the 4th round ...

Chuckster
Chuckster

From what I've read, there's a serious work ethic issue here (shades of a JeMarcus Russell).   All the talent in the world combined with raw strength and speed.   He SHOULD dominate offensive lineman for years to come.   What really concerns me is whether or not his head is on right.  That is a big red flag if I am in that draft room.

ki.nazir72
ki.nazir72

In the world we are lead to believe is true, values like; honor, respect, discipline etc, etc. There would be no way this guy would be drafted by anybody at all to do anything, for if you value yourself at all. You do the best you can whenever and where you can as a reflection of who you are.  I equate this to being a Soldier, if this is the type of guy I'm going into combat with. Myself and the other Soldier's would have serious concerns about his ability to deliver the goods.  You are what you do. Can he learn to be better? Perhaps, the question is. Does he feel the need to?  Which is what is in question.  You have people around you who enable that behavior and the answer is 'no'!

gr8scottsports
gr8scottsports

@SInow it's a shame he had to wait a year and endure the criticism he received- good luck to him!

6marK6
6marK6

For all the people flaming Owen, did you watch the game? I made an effort to focus on Clowney the whole game and he was being owned by the left tackle, who was not getting help at all. MOREOVER, the guy ended the game with no sacks and four tackles. What was comedic was espn praising him for the lousy qb hitting Clowney in the helmet with the pass as a great play. He had no push on that play and was flat footed when the pass hit his helmet. You guys believe whatever the espn spin factory sells.

6marK6
6marK6

I would not waste a pick on Clowney. All we heard this year is how much potential he has, while he did next to nothing on the field. And spare me the "double team" nonsense. Moreover, he took a lot of plays off. I'm sorry, but if you can't dominate in college, how will you dominate in the pros.

ianlinross
ianlinross

What a clown! Take away the shine of the team victory and use the occasion for his own personal agenda. 

Character flag.

OwenCaterwall3
OwenCaterwall3

I'm not sure if GMs watch bowl games, but Clowney sucked against Wisconsin. He was owned by their O lone and played without heart. He'll be a bust in the NFL. Soft.

Ray1950
Ray1950

@OwenCaterwall3 Owen, that New Year's resolution you made ... you know, the one in which you promised not to make a fool of yourself in comment sections during 2014? Consider it busted.

kacrosinsc
kacrosinsc

Oh my, Did not think anyone could possible be as stupid as you obviously are. Take some advise, if you keep idiotic comments to yourself it will be harder for people to realize how much of a moron you are. Owned? WOW

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@OwenCaterwall3So you had a camera on the guy the entire game and saw every play that he made or did not make?

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@OwenCaterwall3 You must be new to this football thing.  FYI, it is a team game.  Keep hanging around though, and you will pick the details and nuances.