none of the DE's in recent history have been as big and fast as clowney. he's the prototypical NFL edge rusher... DE or OLB. the only comparable prospects I can think of in recent history are mario williams and maybe demarcus ware
Every few years some freaky guys come out at various positions - Matt Jones the freaky white WR 6"6 with 4.3 speed. Vernon Davis the 6'3 TE with blazing speed, crazy explosiveness and BP numbers, Javon Kearse was pretty freaky too at one time. Margus Hunt was freaky last year but not all of them pan out. Bo Jackson supposedly had 4.12 speed!! I forget about the safety out of USC who had some absurd 40 time but is more athlete than player, even Carrol didn't want to draft him.
So what are you doing in a thread discussing College kids? Obviously, you can't be an all time great NFL player until you are in the NFL. But when it comes to projecting players, a kid with Clowney's talent ONLY COMES ALONG EVERY TWENTY YEARS. Find a player his size, his ability and can run a 4.47 to 4.53? Any of the DL that have run those times are usually 20lbs lighter. He is a freak, but as opposed to the likes of Gholston he dominated on the college level (when he wanted to play). Obviously, he didn't play hard this year to protect himself from injury. Sort of understandable considering he was forced to stay in college when he belonged in the NFL>
Either way, I don't recall experts saying the same thing about Bush a year before he left college. And Bush only went 2nd overall to a DL. Any team that passes on Clowney for any player (outside of a possible franchise QB) is going to regret it.
Bryan Thomas ran in the 4.4s at 266lbs. John Abraham, another South Carolina guy, was also freakishly fast, although he was 10lbs lighter than Clowney.