Jadeveon Clowney admitted to Suzy Kolber he really had no idea he would be the Houston Texans’ first pick until his name was called by NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell. After he dried his eyes and regained his composure once he heard those words every college player dreams of, it was business the uber-special defensive end wanted to talk about.
Getting down to the business of going out and helping the Texans become a winning organization again.
Clowney, who is compared to many defensive ends – Jevon Kearse amongst others – will now be scrutinized for every move he makes, every step he takes, every comment linked to him. If you look at him as an athletic specimen, there is little he cannot do. From a football standpoint, there are a few things that leave some scouts puzzled, mainly because he can be better than he appears to be on the field. Hopefully it is a case of being bored with the college lifestyle and the desire to make millions of dollars in a man’s game. If not, then his former coach Steve Spurrier will be right again, as he is most of the time on so many levels.
If Clowney turns out to be a Bruce Smith-type player, then the nonsense is forgiven. If he gets lazy and shows a disdain for practice, situational pass rushing and learning to become a professional, then Houston and its organization will have issues. If you talk about players who were most ready to play in the NFL, I had him ranked fifth overall. As for players with the most talent, he was head and shoulders above everyone else.
Here are three reasons, however, why Clowney could be a bust in the NFL.
He is out of position
The thought of JJ Watt on one side and Clowney on another is something that had coaches in Houston salivating and coaches around the league, especially in the AFC South, shaking. But Clowney is not a traditional 3-4 end. I am curious how defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel will use Clowney. He is not an outside linebacker, a position Clowney has been rumored to be used at. Clowney may be a fast learner, but he is most effective with a hand on the ground.
Lack of commitment
There is something to be said for a player who comes into a new situation, shuts his mouth and does his job. That means many hours in the film room, the ability to take criticism and the willingness to listen to detractors. Clowney is a strong personality that does not like practice, wanted to enter the NFL in his sophomore season and used the 2013 season more of a hobby to keep himself active more than anything. If Clowney comes out and storms on the field with an attitude from Day 1 and signs a contract early and proves his attitude has changed a bit, then this is a non-issue. I suspect Clowney likes to walk to the beat of his own drum, no matter how good he can be.
He’s a rookie
Welcome to the NFL – a league where players are bigger, stronger and faster than the players in the SEC. I know it is hard to believe, but John Halapio and John Theus are not Nate Solder or Ryan Clady. Clowney may be able to get around tackles and move inside and run over a guard every now and then, but the linemen in the NFL are licking their chops hoping there is some cockiness in Clowney that quickly be erased. Also, because his 2012 season was much better than 2013, we are not sure which player the Texans are getting. I cannot wait to see Joe Thomas and Clowney match up head to head.