Posted February 22, 2014

Jadeveon Clowney: ‘I want to be one of the greatest of all time’

2014 Scouting Combine, NFL Draft
Jadeveon Clowney is widely expected to be a top-five pick in the NFL draft. (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Jadeveon Clowney is widely expected to be a top-five pick in the NFL draft. (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS — Jadeveon Clowney’s not asking much. All he wants is to run a 40-yard dash in the 4.4 range here, to be selected No. 1 overall by the Houston Texans and to become an all-time great defender in the NFL.

“I want to be the best,” Clowney said Saturday, greeting a massive media contingent that rivaled what convened for Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel on Friday. “I want to be one of the greatest of all time, and the NFL is the next stepping stone.”

The South Carolina product will join his fellow defensive linemen on the Lucas Oil Stadium field Monday for workouts — Clowney previously said that he expected to put up “amazing” numbers in the schedule drills. He’ll be playing some catch-up some for the remainder of Saturday, after a flight delay out of Charlotte pushed back his arrival in Indianapolis.

Sometime along the way, he’ll likely meet with the Houston Texans, who hold the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 draft. Earlier this week, Texans general manager Rick Smith confirmed that his team is “open to all possibilities” with that selection; new Houston head coach Bill O’Brien later talked up Clowney. “I’ve watched Jadeveon on film and he’s obviously a very good player,” O’Brien said. “And he played very well this year.”

Clowney, who said he “probably” would have turned pro after his sophomore season had NFL rules permitted it, previously had not hid his desire to be selected with the first overall pick — of course, who wouldn’t want to be? — and he reiterated that desire on Saturday.

“I was the top player coming out of high school,” Clowney said. “I want to be No. 1 in the draft.”

Clowney turned himself into an overnight star last year with a devastating hit on Michigan running back Vincent Smith during a South Carolina victory in the Outback Bowl. As a result of that highlight-reel moment, though, “A lot of people expected stuff that was impossible,” Clowney said.

Much of the criticism surrounding Clowney’s pro potential has centered around his on-field effort. The issues started from the onset in 2013, as Clowney appeared visibly winded during South Carolina’s win over North Carolina in late August. Tar Heels offensive tackle James Hurst somewhat vouched for Clowney this week.

“It wasn’t just him,” Hurst said. “He got all the attention. But that’s what we do on offense.”

But South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier added to the anti-Clowney narrative in a recent interview with the NFL Network. Spurrier said that Clowney’s work ethic was “OK” during his time with the Gamecocks. “It wasn’t like Marcus Lattimore, you know, every player is a little different. His work habits are pretty good, they’re not quite like Lattimore, a Stephon Gilmore, Melvin Ingram, some of those guys, but when the ball is snapped, he’s got something no one else has.”

Clowney responded to those remarks Saturday: “I don’t really have nothing to say about it. I believe I did work hard. You pull out any practice tape from last year, you’ll see that. … I will always be working hard. No matter where I end up I am going to work hard and give a team everything I’ve got.”

To nab the No. 1 spot in this year’s draft, Clowney will have to convince the Texans (or any team trading up into that spot) not only that he leaves it all on the field, but also that his impact defensively will be worthwhile enough to pass on the talented quarterbacks available.

So what is Clowney’s pitch?

“You watched the Super Bowl,” he said. “Defense wins championships.”

29 comments
wetmouse
wetmouse

When a punter does more reps at 225 pounds per than you, you are NOT athletically freakish. Yes he's fast, But he's a weakling who will be pushed around by NFL tackles and even RBs.

Nor does he come to play each week. We've seen these types before and they are always busts.

Clowney the Clown has an "undraftable" grade from me. 

You take him.

WarrenSappSucked
WarrenSappSucked

JUST IN: THE CLOWN DID 21 REPS IN BENCH PRESS. WAY BELOW AVG. HELL, A PUNTER DID MORE REPS.

effeweall
effeweall

he def has injury.he is holding out for lotto ticket cash in.  huge risk

Zeke Mokowski
Zeke Mokowski

If he's willing to play for the Gamecocks las year in low gear to avoid injury, will he bring it for an NFL team that isn't a front runner?

rcjank0
rcjank0

The Raiders will draft him and give him millions so he can hang out with Jamarcus Russell.

DanaBunner
DanaBunner

If he wants to be the greatest of all time, then he's going to have to work out all year, take OTAs and camp seriously, and practice his butt off.  Then he's going to have to bring it all game long.  So far he has fallen well short of these standards.

OwenCaterwall3
OwenCaterwall3

“You watched the Super Bowl,” he said. “Defense wins championships.”

I watched you play Wisconsin. They owned you.

Bazelope
Bazelope

Here's come the second incarnation of Mario Williams.  This guy is more CLOWN than he is Monster.  Believe when people say he is just going to drop down the draft board and some team will scoop him up at # 16 - # 20 and they will still live to regret to!  This kid wants a pay day only!

rma101560
rma101560

Nobody is questioning this guy's physical skills but his heart is another matter.  Like Manziel, he needs to get his ego under control.  They both need to prove they are team players and dial back that immature star attitude.  I wouldn't want either one of them in my locker room.  Their potential is overshadowed by their baggage.

The_truth_hurts
The_truth_hurts

If he goes to the Texans or Rams, he wont even be the best on his team.

Zero1337
Zero1337

@DanaBunner  Lets be honest, he spent all of last year just trying to not get hurt. Its kind of horrible to say/see but his only other option was to sit out the year and not play at all...which supposedly he legitimately considered.


As a freshman he gave it his all every game...and it was pretty amazing, so he CAN do it. The question is will he do it once he gets paid?

mystafugee
mystafugee

@DanaBunner  that never stopped Emmit  Smith from becoming the NFL's all-time leading rusher.  

USPM
USPM

@OwenCaterwall3 Scoreboard!...... Double-digit Wisconsin loss is hardly owning anything.  Maybe, if the badgers didn't double-team or run away from him all game long, then perhaps you would have a case.  Otherwise, find another sport to "watch"!

KristianColasacco
KristianColasacco

@BazelopeMario Williams is a clown?  May I ask what profession you're employed in and if you're one of the very best in the world at it? 

WilliamCross
WilliamCross

"Like Manziel, he needs to get his ego under control." said the anonymous guy admonishing strangers about their attitude. Get YOUR ego in check.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@rma101560 You don't want good players in your locker room?   My guess is that you have never met either player but are judging from a distance and are simply guessing.

DanaBunner
DanaBunner

@mystafugee @DanaBunnerSay what???  Emmitt Smith is well known for having one of the most dedicated work ethics in the NFL.  Worked out all year long and stayed in tremendous physical condition.  Which resulted in his extreme longevity as a productive NFL back.   Ending up with 4409 rushing attempts, which is over 500 more than anyone else in NFL history.