Jadeveon Clowney NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report for Texans DE

Darren PageFeatured ColumnistFebruary 4, 2014

COLUMBIA, SC - SEPTEMBER 14:  Jadeveon Clowney #7 of the South Carolina Gamecocks during their game at Williams-Brice Stadium on September 14, 2013 in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina (HT: 6’5¼”, WT: 266 lbs)

Houston Texans

First Round: First pick

 

NFL Comparison: Julius Peppers, DE, Green Bay Packers

Combine Weigh-In
HeightWeightArmHand
6'5"26634 1/2"10"
NFL.com
Combine Workout
40-yd dash10-yd splitVertBroad3-ConeBench
4.531.5637 1/2"10'4"7.2721
NFL.com

Positives

  • Strong track record of production/disruption, despite lack of sacks in 2013. 
  • Is a physically sculpted specimen, prototype build. 
  • Explosive in his movements with elite lateral quickness. 
  • Significant strength generated from both upper and lower body. 
  • Instinctive defender with fine play-recognition skills. 
  • Exploits opponents' deficiencies on the regular. 
  • Generates speed and power as a rusher. 
  • Aggressive with his hands, will jolt pass-blockers on first contact. 
  • Will bat blockers’ hands to swim as a rusher. 
  • Unpredictable with quickness to set up rushes one way and dart back the other. 
  • Is quick into contact on direct rushes and fires hands consistently. 
  • Flashes upside as a power rusher who can attack the chest of pass-blockers and press the pocket from the outside. 
  • Effective on twists and stunts. 
  • Has a fine sense of timing for getting his hands up to bat passes. 
  • Devastating ability to split gaps by coming off the ball quickly and sinking pads. 
  • Maintains space with a lateral step on lunging run blocks and swims in incredible fashion, redirects with fine balance once past the blocker. 
  • Fine technique of leveraging blocks and keeping outside shoulder free to set the edge. 
  • Can engage multiple run-blockers and not give ground. 
  • Very decisive as unblocked defender, picks up on play design well. 
  • Impactful pursuer of the ball when motor is running hot. 
  • Makes high-impact tackles that frequently jar the ball loose.

 

Negatives

  • Physical dominance has held back his need to develop technically. 
  • Use of his hands overall is rather undeveloped or raw. 
  • Isn’t necessarily a speed rusher despite a fine get-off. 
  • Doesn’t bend with flexibility to turn the corner. 
  • Lacks a variety of pass-rush moves even if able to get a tackle on his heels. 
  • Needs to finish pass-rush moves with more precise hand usage. 
  • Can be slow into contact when rushing from wider alignments. 
  • Played from right end with hand in the dirt, was not moved around to highlight versatility very often. 
  • Overly reliant on his swim move against run and pass, often exposing his ribs or chest. 
  • Doesn’t consistently stack and shed at the line of scrimmage while controlling gaps, is more of a penetrator. 
  • Struggles to break down and make tackles in space, stays high in pursuit. 
  • Likes to go for the knockout blow as a tackler, which leads to missed tackles.
  • Gave questionable effort at times in 2013 trying to play through injury and facing regular double-teams.
  • Had some stamina issues early in the season.
Collegiate Statistics
YearTacklesTFLSacksFFPD
20113612851
20125423.51332
20134011.5314
sports-reference.com

 

Personal Notes

  • 5-star recruit and consensus No. 1 overall player in 2011 recruiting class, per 247Sports
  • 2012 SEC Defensive Player of the Year and unanimous All-American. 
  • Has been ticketed twice for speeding since early December. 
  • Often criticized for a lack of effort and/or trying not to get hurt in 2013. 
  • Plagued by injuries in 2013, including bone spurs in his foot and a rib injury.

 

Ratings Chart

Graph made at nces.com

 

Overall

Clowney is as physically talented as any edge-rusher prospect in recent memory. The dip in his production as a junior will be something that teams must inquire about, but a combination of injuries and offensive game-planning played a big role in that. His immense talent and high ceiling at a premier position should mean he won’t wait long to hear his name called.

Draft Projection: 1st Round

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