Physically there is no prospect with the pass rushing gifts of Jadeveon Clowney. His rare combination of size, speed, and jump off the snap make him physically one of the most feared pass rushers in college football. However, Clowney’s inability to be consistent is his biggest problem rushing the passer. He will have a monster game one week, then a game where he disappears the following week. Despite his gifts Clowney only managed to have 3 sacks this entire season. The reason his score is so high with the lack of production is his rare combination of power and speed pass rushing moves. Without these, his score would be much lower.
Run Stopping: 13/20
Clowney is best known for his pass rushing, but this year he greatly regressed in stopping the run. His motor and inability to finish plays created many instances where Clowney missed out on making plays. This year he took major steps back as a run stopping defensive end. What saves him is that when he does give the effort, he has great form when tackling, not to mention he can lay some lumber as a defensive hitter. With 41 tackles and no forced turnovers, Clowney’s 2013 campaign was very forgettable when it came to stopping the run.
Physical Attributes & Size: 20/20
At 6’6, 274 pounds, Clowney has the size to play in the NFL. His combination of size and speed is a unique combination that is rarely seen in the NFL. While he projects best as a defensive end in a 4-3 scheme, Clowney is one of those rare prospects who can play multiple positions. He can play the interior or end position along the Defensive line and could stand up as an outside linebacker in the 3-4 scheme. This is what scouts most drool about when Clowney is brought up. They love his size and power, and this is what will propel him to be a top pick in the draft.
No prospect in the 2014 class has the physical attributes that Clowney possesses. If he is focused and committed, he can be an impact player from day one. Similar to Mario Williams, he could develop into an elite pass rusher that could be a 10 plus sacks a season type of player. Physically, the sky is the limit for Clowney.
Clowney has suffered many minor injuries during his college career that has cost him a couple of games. Clowney blames his lack of production on injuries this season, but having these nagging injuries could be a red flag for teams. It also doesn’t help that he doesn’t exactly play through pain, which brings up questions about his toughness. While he isn’t an injury prone player, Clowney has had some dings from college football. While there are no major red flags about his health, there has to be concern about his injuries in college and how he doesn’t fight through them.
Scheme fit: 10/10
Clowney is one of those rare prospects who fits almost any system in the NFL. While his best fit would be as a 4-3 end, he can play outside linebacker or end in a 3-4 as well. With his size and athleticism he can moved all over the field to give him the best matchup for the particular play. It doesn’t matter the scheme, Clowney will be a great fit for whatever defense he plays for.
Clown’s lack of hustle was apparent this year. Many experts will save that he is saving himself for the NFL, but as a GM this has to be concerning. Defense is all about desire and you want the consistent effort from players. It’s great when Clowney makes a big play, but not great when he disappears for the next 10 snaps. While he has a high motor in 2012, that motor and hustle greatly diminished. Clowney clearly gives up on plays, and doesn’t give a full effort on every snap. This is a huge red flag for a team because they might not want a player who will take off plays.
Total Grade: 80/100 projection: Top 10 pick
A year ago Clowney would have been the surefire number one pick in the draft. But after a tumultuous 2013 season with both on and off the field issues, Clowney’s draft stock has taken a major hit. While a team will gamble on his raw ability and potential, there has to be concern about his motor and off the field issues. As of now he will probably be a top 5 pick and will almost certainly be off the board by the tenth pick. Clowney defiantly has the highest ceiling off any prospect this season. However, he does have bust potential after a poor season this year and will be in my opinion either a star or a complete bust.
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