Jadeveon Clowney Should Be Draft's Top Pick After Impressive Showing at Combine

Sean ODonnellContributor IIIFebruary 24, 2014

South Carolina defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Monday, Feb. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

Jadeveon Clowney was absolutely on fire during his workout at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine. His combination of size, length, speed and explosiveness was already well known; however, his freak athleticism was still a sight to behold on Monday.

Clowney came into the combine boasting impressive measurables for a defensive end. At 6'5" with 34.5" arms, 10" hands and a weight of 266 pounds, it's difficult to fathom how he is able to produce such a vigorous showing in drills that require a high amount of athleticism.

Finishing second in his positional unit with a 37.5" vertical jump, second with a 124" broad jump and first with a very impressive 4.53-second 40-yard dash, Clowney proved once again just why he is one of the most-coveted prospects in this year's draft.

To put his 40-yard dash time into perspective, only one tight end—the 6'2", 252-pound A.C. Leonard of Tennessee State—from this year's draft ran a better time in the event than Clowney. First-round prospects Eric Ebron of North Carolina and Jace Amaro of Texas Tech ran a 4.60 and 4.74, respectively.

That's just crazy—a 6'5", 266-pound defensive end who runs like a tight end.

Sure, Clowney possibly raised some concerns with only 21 reps on the bench press; however, he was never known as a bull-rusher. Clowney is a pure speed edge-rusher. That's what made him successful in college and that's what will make him successful in the NFL.

There is no doubt that Clowney wants to go No. 1 overall in the 2014 NFL draft; although, he doesn't want to stop there. Ben Eagle of Sports Illustrated recorded a statement made by Clowney at the combine on Saturday: "I want to be the best. I want to be one of the greatest of all time, and the NFL is the next stepping stone."

If Clowney wants to be the best of all time, he certainly took a step in the right direction on Monday. His performance makes the Houston Texans' choice of what to do with the first overall draft pick that much more difficult.

Yes, the Texans are definitely in the market for a quarterback. With names like Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel and Blake Bortles ripe for the picking, they are hard to pass up. But, on the other hand, how could they pass up on Clowney—a once-in-a-lifetime talent?

Pairing Clowney with All-Pro J.J. Watt would give the Texans one of the most ferocious defensive lines in the entire NFL. The AFC South boasts some shaky offensive lines, and Clowney would make his impact felt immediately.

Perhaps the best way for the Texans to get back into the postseason is to take Clowney with their first overall pick and then look for a signal-caller in Round 2. After all, highly regarded prospects such as Derek Carr of Fresno State and Jimmy Garoppolo of Eastern Illinois could still be sitting there waiting.

At this point the Texans would have it all—an elite pass-rusher and a future franchise quarterback.

After Clowney's performance at the combine on Monday, there should be very little doubt that he should be taken as the 2014 NFL draft's top overall selection.


All combine measurements and results courtesy of NFL.com's results tracker.