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Thread: Jadeveon Clowney dominates 40-yard dash, skips on-field drills at combine

  1. #1

    Jadeveon Clowney dominates 40-yard dash, skips on-field drills at combine

    Jadeveon Clowney wows in dash

    INDIANAPOLIS -- Jadeveon Clowney finished his stay at the NFL scouting combine Monday by confirming what many scouts thought about the former South Carolina star. He also left some questions unanswered.

    In his four-day trek through the league's annual showcase of draft prospects, Clowney showed both breathtaking athletic potential and curious decision-making, multiple scouts and personnel executives told ESPN.com.

    It's all part of the pre-draft puzzle with Clowney, considered by many to be the most physically gifted player on the board.

    Clowney, whose work ethic was questioned by his own coach this past season and who raised eyebrows with a below-average performance in the bench press at the combine, still blistered the turf inside Lucas Oil Stadium and was clocked at 4.53 seconds in the 40-yard dash.

    Although many NFL decision-makers will say that a player's efforts in games over the course of his career comprise the bulk of his pre-draft grade, a player in position to be the top overall pick can earn an extra push with what happens at the combine or his on-campus pro day. The interviews, medical exams or on-field workouts at the combine can be the last weights to tip the scale.

    Clowney's efforts Monday, as well as in the previous days at the combine, both helped his cause and left some issues on the table.

    His size -- he's officially listed as 6-foot-5 and 266 pounds, with an 83-inch arm span -- makes him an ideal edge rusher in the pass-happy NFL.

    Jadeveon Clowney officially ran the 40-yard dash in 4.53 seconds Monday, the fastest time for any defensive lineman at the NFL scouting combine.

    Clowney's weight was the first thing scouts noted in Indianapolis, given that several scouts who work the Southeast said they believed he played closer to 277 pounds or slightly more at South Carolina. He was listed on the roster at 274 pounds this past season.

    Those same scouts said they would be curious to see whether Clowney allows himself to be weighed at his pro day in early April, considering some prospects lose weight to run at the combine and put it back on to go through more football-specific drills at their pro days.

    A slightly leaner Clowney showed top-end speed Monday with two 40-yard dashes that were unofficially hand-timed at 4.47 and 4.48, and officially timed at 4.53 on an electronic clock. All were best among the defensive linemen and better than many of the wide receivers who ran the day before.

    Clowney's 40-yard dash was faster than all but one of the times posted by a current NFL starting quarterback -- Robert Griffin III -- at the combine since 2006, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

    But even as the scouts had barely written those times into their notebooks, Clowney was adding another question or two as well.

    After taking part in the 40, broad jump and vertical jump -- things used to measure explosiveness and straight-line speed -- Clowney took a pass on cone and position-specific drills because of what he told those monitoring the workouts was a hip-flexor issue.

    At least two general managers told ESPN.com they would've liked to have seen Clowney do the drills, and expected him to, but were not surprised he didn't given there are questions about his change-of-direction skills. The GMs said that Clowney and his representatives simply chose to play to his strengths Monday. Clowney will have plenty of time to work before his April 2 pro day at South Carolina.

    But for a player who has carried questions about his work ethic in tow since the start of the 2013 season, it was another example, some scouts told ESPN.com, of Clowney passing on an opportunity to go full-tilt in a competitive situation and simply show what he can do. He benched 225 pounds just 21 times Sunday -- a total that some other successful pass-rushers have posted in previous combines but lower than some expected for the high-profile defensive end.

    Clowney said this past weekend that he hopes to be selected by the Houston Texans with the top pick in May's draft.

    "That's one of my goals here, to go No. 1," he said. "I came out of high school as the No. 1 player, so I want to come out of here as the No. 1 guy."

    With his array of physical gifts, including the speed he showed Monday, many talent evaluators are still trying to understand how Clowney finished this past season with just three sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss.

    "Going into last season, I had a lot of high expectations of myself, and things don't always happen like you plan on," Clowney said this past weekend. "I was really trying to break the [career] sack record for us for the next guys coming in. There were a lot of ups and downs, but we won 11 games, were 11-2, won our bowl game, finished No. 4 in the country for the first time in South Carolina history. So I was pretty excited about the season.

    "I wasn't worried about my stats really. A lot of game-changing went on when we played teams. ... I wasn't really worried about my stats, I just wanted to win."

    Clowney has said that bone spurs in his right foot -- he's said he's dealt with them since high school -- did not affect his play in 2013 and said shortly after the season he would let the team that drafts him decide whether he needs surgery.

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    Now, I know there's a combine results page - but I want to ask the question of what this means for the future of the NFL.

    Will huge athletes continue to get stronger and faster? His times, 4.47 and 4.48 (hand stopwatch), and 4.53 (electronic) put him in the middle of the pack for WIDE RECEIVERS.

    Performance enhancing drugs, whatever. You don't get like this just from steroids.

    Is this what the future is going to be like. The game is going to be so fast. Or is just a unique freak of nature.

    Mind you, I think he played poorly this year so he wouldn't get injured. His bone spurs are a concern, but we'll see how serious that is.

    Incredible, IMO.

  2. #2
    There is one of these freaky DE's almost every year that puts up insane numbers. If you are looking at a bigger trend if you ask me it is with the olineman who seem to get faster each year but with maintaining weight and technique.

  3. #3
    Jets Insider VIP
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    Vernon 2.0

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Peebag View Post
    Vernon 2.0
    Don't think so. Clowney has more of a standout college career than Gholston did.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Peebag View Post
    Vernon 2.0
    Hope the first four teams in the draft feel the same way as you.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Raider9175 View Post
    Hope the first four teams in the draft feel the same way as you.
    I said this earlier today. JC doesn't make it past Oakland at 5 (IF he gets that far).

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by John_0515 View Post
    I said this earlier today. JC doesn't make it past Oakland at 5 (IF he gets that far).
    Only if Bridgewater still on the board also.(highly doubtful both are)

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Raider9175 View Post
    Only if Bridgewater still on the board also.(highly doubtful both are)
    It would be some major news if that happened.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Peebag View Post
    Vernon 2.0
    Clearly someone that never watches College football. Gholston made himself at the combine. If Clowney had passed on the combine, he still would have gone top 5.

  10. #10
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    Clowneys come along about once every 20 years or so I do not think we are seeing the future. I think the kid will be a beast but he is going to need a HC and position coach that will light a fire under his butt every now and then. Rex and Dunbar would be perfect for a kid like this. I think Spurrier gave an honest assessment. His effort is good enough but he doesn't exactly empty the tank. Ultimately that is the difference between guys like Clowney and Jerry Rice. To be an all-time great you not only need the talent but you need to be willing to outwork your opponents too.

    He will be double team from the moment he steps on the field so I don't expect him to put up huge numbers. If he gets like 8 sacks that might be the equivalent of 12-15 sacks when you consider how he tilts the field and opens up things for other guys. As long as he doesn't sulk b.c of that he will be fine.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by DDNYjets View Post
    Clowneys come along about once every 20 years or so
    I remember Ham saying Reggie Bush was a player that comes along every 25 years.. A player is Great when he proves it in the NFL not before..

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Savage69 View Post
    I remember Ham saying Reggie Bush was a player that comes along every 25 years.. A player is Great when he proves it in the NFL not before..
    Absolutely. But I think when people say that they mean as a prospect, at least I do. Goes without saying that they still need to prove themselves.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Savage69 View Post
    I remember Ham saying Reggie Bush was a player that comes along every 25 years.. A player is Great when he proves it in the NFL not before..
    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.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by revischrist View Post
    Clearly someone that never watches College football. Gholston made himself at the combine. If Clowney had passed on the combine, he still would have gone top 5.
    THis is a myth that's not even close to true. Gholston was projected near the top 10 by the end of the 2007 college football season, in fact CNNSI and ESPN had him going to the Jets at #6 before the combine. He closed the season with 9 sacks in his last 5 games and 14 sacks in the season. We all know it ended up being a terrible pick, but why do people continue to make up this idea that Gholston wasn't a first round pick before the combine

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Batmans A Scientist View Post
    THis is a myth that's not even close to true. Gholston was projected near the top 10 by the end of the 2007 college football season, in fact CNNSI and ESPN had him going to the Jets at #6 before the combine. He closed the season with 9 sacks in his last 5 games and 14 sacks in the season. We all know it ended up being a terrible pick, but why do people continue to make up this idea that Gholston wasn't a first round pick before the combine
    I remember hearing rumors at the time of the Tuna wanting to grab him #1 overall. IIRC when contract negotiations broke down they went with Long. Typical Jets luck because Gholston ended up being one of the biggest busts ever.

  16. #16
    All of the stuff on Clowney is so overblown....You have the handful of people trying to sound smart declaring he will bust, and you have other idiots saying he takes plays off......They show a handful of plays over and over on highlights where he jogs on a run away from him and all the morons eat it up thinking those 3 or 4 plays define his career

    Please watch full game tapes from this past season before making dumbass comments like he didn't try.....the ignorance is laughable.....

    Texans Owner is a South Carolina alum and huge booster.....No chance he's not a Texan unless they get a kings ransom to trade out and snatch Manziel

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Peebag View Post
    Vernon 2.0
    Crack kills dude.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by King Koopa View Post
    Texans Owner is a South Carolina alum and huge booster.....No chance he's not a Texan unless they get a kings ransom to trade out and snatch Manziel
    Texans need to draft Clowney. He obviously has the athleticism and skill to play both OLB and DE. Watt and Clowney in the same front 7 Oy Vey that's scary.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by King Koopa View Post
    Texans Owner is a South Carolina alum and huge booster.....No chance he's not a Texan unless they get a kings ransom to trade out and snatch Manziel
    Texans need to draft Clowney. He obviously has the athleticism and skill to play both OLB and DE. Watt and Clowney in the same front 7 Oy Vey that's scary.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Beerfish View Post
    There is one of these freaky DE's almost every year that puts up insane numbers. If you are looking at a bigger trend if you ask me it is with the olineman who seem to get faster each year but with maintaining weight and technique.
    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

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