Posted January 19, 2014

Jadeveon Clowney expects to put up ‘amazing’ numbers at NFL scouting combine

NFL Draft, NFL draft 2014
Jadeveon Clowney (right) claims he ran a 4.43 40-yard dash during his senior year of high school.

Jadeveon Clowney (right) claims he ran a 4.43 40-yard dash during his senior year of high school. (Bill Frakes/SI)

Jadeveon Clowney is scheduled to hit the field at the NFL’s scouting combine on Feb. 24. And he advises everyone to pay attention when he does.

The South Carolina junior will participate in every drill, according to Josh Kendall of The State. “The numbers I am going to put up are going to be amazing,” Clowney said.

Clowney’s speed and athleticism help set him apart from the other defensive players in this year’s draft class. Way back in July, Clowney told reporters that he ran a 4.46 40-yard dash during South Carolina’s summer workouts.

“I ran a 4.43 my senior year [of high school],” Clowney told the Post and Courier. “But I was 250 [pounds] then. I’m like 270 now.”

MORE COVERAGE: Clowney sits No. 1 on Big Board 3.0 | Mock Draft 4.0: Clowney to Rams

Anything in the 4.5 range would be mighty impressive — Travardo Williams (4.57) and Barkevious Mingo (4.58) were the fastest of the DL group at last year’s combine. There were 27 players who ran a 4.46 or faster during the 2013 event, all either from the wide receiver, running back or defensive back category.

The other combine events aside from the 40-yard dash: bench press, vertical jump, broad jump, three-cone drill and a pair of shuttle runs (20- and 60-yard). Clowney’s statement that he’ll blow folks away in Indianapolis next month implies that he expects to excel in several of those activities.

Of course, Clowney has never been called out for a lack of physical gifts. Just the opposite, in fact — his critics during this past college football season wondered aloud repeatedly why he was not able to dominate games on a consistent basis, which led to questions about his effort level. Clowney still had a major impact when he was on the field, even if his personal stats do not necessarily back that up.

A standout showing at the combine might further quiet some of Clowney’s detractors.

29 comments
RichieGross
RichieGross

Can't wait to see what he does in the NFL! It was such a treat to watch him for three years at SC. I've never seen a defensive player who changed every game the way he did. Sure, the stats weren't off the charts this year, although he was, I think, second in the nation in QB pressures, but he made everyone who faced SC play around him all the time. Which is why he was voted by the SEC coaches to the first team All-SEC squad, and by the American Football Coaches Association to their first team All-America squad this year. The coaches who faced him recognized how well he played this year, even though he didn't blow up the stat sheet.  It's also interesting to note that the stuff about his character and effort is all coming from people who are very far away from him.  Those who know him best, his coaches, his teammates, and his opponents do not share those concerns.  They also don't really hold up when you watch the game film.  The folks at Garnet and Black Attack went ahead and cut together all of Clowney's downs against UNC, which is the game that started this whole "he's lazy" nonsense.  If you watch it, you'll see a player who is double and triple teamed all day, he's also chipped and flat out held (if you really want to have fun with it, count how many times Hurst holds him and isn't called for it, it's a blast!), and above all NC just plain runs away from him.  He does get tired, yes, he's a human being.  And, SC actually had him on the field for a higher percentage of downs than most NFL DEs play.  They asked a lot of him.  Even though he gets tired, which can also be somewhat attributed to the extreme heat (it was about 25-30 degrees hotter that day than it had been all summer) and his sickness (he had been battling flu like symptoms and had eaten only a plate full of grapes on gameday), I see a player who gives great effort throughout the game.  Pay particular attention to NC's last series in the game, when they drive down inside the SC 10.  Clowney gets incredible pressure on Renner on consecutive downs despite being double teamed and held so badly that Hurst spins around and into the air from grabbing his waist and forces Renner to throw incomplete passes.  By the way, SC was the only team to hold NC under 300 yards and 17 points all season.

There are also stats within stats.  There are stats which tell the obvious story of the game, but there are also stats which show how much a player affects a game in ways which are less obvious.  If you know how to look at the game within the game, Clowney had a monster year.  I'm not sure how this stat played out for the whole season, but through four games (against NC, UGA when they were mostly healthy, Vandy, & UCF) the QBs who faced Clowney altered their games greatly to account for him.  Those four QBs, Renner, Murray, Carta-Samuels, and Bortles, averaged 2.63 seconds in the pocket before throwing the ball when Clowney was not on the field.  When Clowney was on the field, that number dropped to 2.15 seconds.  Half of a second may not sound like a lot of time, but it is an almost 20% reduction in the amount of time the QB has to scan the field and find an open receiver, which is also less time SC's defense which included inexperienced LBs needed to cover those receivers and backs.  

He's acknowledged that he hasn't always had to practice as hard as those around him, but he also said he learned he had to change that once he got to SC and did so.  Did he live up to the media hype?  Of course not, no human being could.  But, and this is just my opinion, I still think he is the best defensive player in the nation.  He could become a bust, there's no such thing as a sure thing, but he has all the tools and I really hope he succeeds, because I want to see the things I think he can do on the football field! JD also had my favorite all time quote from a Gamecock player when he said, "I don't know how it feels to lose to Clemson, I'm not going to know how it feels either, because we are not going to lose to them as long as I am here." He's a man of his word.


http://www.garnetandblackattack.com/2013/9/2/4688078/jadeveon-clowney-out-of-shape-north-carolina-conditioning

ucla2k3
ucla2k3

Without a doubt, Clowney is talented. The real questions are 1) will he stay motivated to be a factor on the field and 2) will his off-the-field issues prevent him from playing. Clowney may be the best defensive player available but he'll be worth squat if he doesn't want to play or off-field issues prevent him from getting on the field. These are red flags every GM will need to address. I can see Clowney easily slipping to the 3rd or 4th round because of these potential issues. Kind of like Tyrann Matthieu out of LSU slipping all the way to the 3rd round in last year's draft. Very talented kid who was able to stay out of trouble and helped the Cardinals put together one of the best defensive units in the league.

hfuhruhurr
hfuhruhurr

I bet he'll be the first one at the combine based on his driving history.

bioBio2004
bioBio2004

he'll do great at the combine, as long as he doesn't have to play 3 downs in a row.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

The greatest athletes know how to pump themselves up so they continually excel.  Think Jordan and Bird. Cal Ripken. Peyton Manning. I haven't seen any evidence of that attitude from Clowney. Maybe he is saving it for the combine and the pros. Maybe he doesn't have it. I don't know. But he appears to have a tremendous natural ability. I'd hate to see him waste it. 

mkd09
mkd09

Clowney will do just fine in the pros.  Money is a powerful motivator and he has a good head on his shoulders.  Comparisons to Haynesworth and Clarett are unfounded.  He won't be an All-Pro next season, but he'll be a top 5 DE in a few years.

TCUfan
TCUfan

He should expect to do well. He took a year off to rest.

effeweall
effeweall

Clowney is going for a lottery ticket on draft day.  look at Seatle and SF's d's right now, all the front guys are Clowneys.  If the gets in the right system he can excel.  if he goes to a bad franchise, he will sink.


Cash in Clowney!!!

2001mark
2001mark

Maurice Clarett's on his speed dial.



ChiefG
ChiefG

He hasn't played a single professional game yet and he already has a big head.

He is a legend in his own mind already!

Matthew W
Matthew W

Who cares what he does at the combine, he needs to prove he's learned from his mistakes and has matured. 


You don't go from being a beast and the best defensive player in college to a lowly 3 sacks without major maturity & character concerns. 


Right now he looks like Albert Haynesworth 2.0

Steve Phillips
Steve Phillips

Talk is cheap, you were horrible this year, you are a selfish "all about me" player. I know the Broncos wouldn't draft you until the 10 th round

WHO*IS*ESPN
WHO*IS*ESPN

"Amazing"? that would be a first but it is not amazing how you run your mouth......alot

Marchoir
Marchoir

Sorry Mr. Slacker, but giving it up a couple days at the NFL Combine is not the same as giving it up in training camp, every day in practice, and every weekend on the field. Clowney doesn't love the game, or playing the game. It's obvious when you watch him play. What he loves is getting paid. And once he cashes in, he's laying down.

Cool
Cool

If memory serves me right, he has spur's on his feet and he hurts whenever he moves.. and that is the reason he "under performed" mid season.  It was reported he was going to have surgery .... whatever happened to that excuse?

eddie767
eddie767

Those that brag always end up failing. In his case, it might hurt more after last seasons question. Do y our best, which is better than the rest. Anyway,his q & a sessions might sink him more than some speed/agility tests.

ChadBurke
ChadBurke

Agree with the red flags, but the idea of Clowney slipping to day two is laughable. Way too much talent for these GMs to pass on. Top ten pick guaranteed.

hfuhruhurr
hfuhruhurr

@Rickapolis Cal Ripken?  Not really the athletic example to fit with the others you mention.

j7apple
j7apple

@mkd09 Money IS a powerful motivator until you have it, ask Jamarcus Russell   lol 

mkd09
mkd09

@Matthew W I don't disagree with you about maturity.  


Compare USC's defensive stats this year to last-- Clowney was double teamed and Quarles and Sutton upped their sack and TFL  totals.  Clowney's numbers are lower this year primarily because he has been THE focus of offensive blocking schemes.  This is what he brings to the NFL-- whatever team takes him will be defensively better next year. 

fless_43
fless_43

@Steve Phillips You mean the same Denver Broncos that took Tim Tebow in the 1st round?  Or the Denver Broncos that took Maurice Clarett on day 1 of the draft after he sat out a year?  Ya, the Broncos NEVER reach in the draft.  

BlackSession1
BlackSession1

@Steve Phillips lol The Broncos would dance a jig and spark a joint if they could get him in the 1st around, let alone the imaginary 10th 

SandHills
SandHills

@BlackSession1 @Steve Phillips 


As if he would be available by the time Denver's pick comes along in the 1st round, like what, the 23rd or 24th pick?  Besides there are a lot of teams that need him more than Denver - IF Denver had a pick they might take him to keep him from being a pass rusher on Manning (I'm sure the Patriots would take him).