2014 NFL Combine

Jadeveon Clowney Will Use NFL Combine Exposure to Improve Case for Top Pick

ORLANDO, FL - JANUARY 01:  Jadeveon Clowney #7 of the South Carolina Gamecocks in action during their game against the Wisconsin Badgers at the Capital One Bowl on January 1, 2014 in Orlando, Florida.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images
Steven CookContributor IIIFebruary 22, 2014

Jadeveon Clowney has made scouts and football experts drop their jaws generally every time they have had a chance to break him down individually, and that will continue at the 2014 NFL Combine, as he shows the world once again why he's been such a touted player since high school.

South Carolina's menacing defensive end has torn up SEC offensive lines pretty much since arriving onto the scene in 2011, emerging from a five-star recruit to one of the nation's most feared players almost immediately. 

After two years and one signature hit, Clowney was the resounding top pick in the 2014 NFL draft. There was no argument.

Then 2013 happened. Clowney's numbers declined, his production took a hit and his reputation as a high-ego, low-effort player spread like wildfire. 

That, coupled with an emergence of quarterbacks, has seen Clowney slipping down draft boards. B/R draft guru Matt Miller doesn't have the former prodigy coming off the board until No. 6 to Atlanta. 

ORLANDO, FL - JANUARY 01:  Jadeveon Clowney #7 of the South Carolina Gamecocks walks off the field at the end of the first half of their game against the Wisconsin Badgers at the Capital One Bowl on January 1, 2014 in Orlando, Florida.  (Photo by Scott Ha
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

But there is no doubt that once Clowney's freak physical condition shines through at the NFL Combine, scouts will fall in love with his measurables once again, and he'll shoot up draft boards—including, most importantly, Houston's.

The Texans hold the top pick in this year's draft—a pick that they will likely use on the next franchise quarterback in Houston. They have the opportunity to take Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel or Blake Bortles at the top to solve their problems under center.

But the talks have been there about Houston taking Clowney at No. 1 and pairing him up alongside J.J. Watt to make for one of the NFL's scariest defensive fronts.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport spoke with a few people who saw Clowney fitting in Houston as a linebacker:

If Houston knows what it is doing with this top pick, it will realize that it can wait or make a trade in order to land the quarterback of the future. The Texans can't afford to miss out on Clowney.

Once he's in the right program, effort won't be an issue for Clowney—he will be getting paid handsomely and will be under the parameters of a contract for mandatory events. 

John Raoux/Associated Press

And no scout in their right mind would look too much into Clowney's disappointing 2013 season. They will see on film that teams went way out of their way to double up on him and take him out of a lot of those games.

When Clowney's physical condition is evaluated ad nauseum at the combine, scouts will see just what a freak he is, physically. They will see the prospect who set the standard for recruiting evaluations, and one that will immediately make a huge impact upon entering the league.

Clowney is already an unstoppable player, and when he's put into a defensive scheme that also features Watt, double coverage won't be an option for opposing offensive lines. They will have to handle Clowney one-on-one, which hasn't typically gone well for anyone.

The Texans' first pick is an easy one, and Jadeveon Clowney will prove that at the NFL Combine.

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