Tuesday 24 October 2017 / 07:37 AM

JADEVEON CLOWNEY READY TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP

Going to an SEC school and football powerhouse such as the University of Florida, it’s hard not to feel some sort of low drop in your stomach when you hear the name Jadeveon Clowney. I remember Jadeveon as the beast at the University of South Carolina that made offensive linemen look like bags of potatoes being moved at a grocery store.

I’m pretty sure he killed a tailback from Michigan in 2013.

Clowney is 6’5 and 266 pounds, but he moves like someone much smaller and lighter.

The Rock Hill-born powerhouse was initially predicted to be a top-3 pick in the 2014 draft, but he ended up being the number one choice for the Houston Texans. USA Today called him “by far the most freakish physical specimen in this draft”.

I don’t know about you, but if I owned an NFL team and I heard of an absolutely destructive, yet disciplined mutant like Jadeveon Clowney up for grabs – I’d want one. I’d want 10.

As far as last season went for Clowney, it was relatively quiet. This is natural for first-year rookies, but Clowney doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy that spends a season or two in the NFL before discreetly getting waived. The guy was an absolute terror in college football, and the Texans are waiting for that sort of impact to translate over to the NFL.

The wait seems to have an end in sight coming soon.

His hard hits and style of play are reminiscent of a enforcer by the name of Ray Lewis, except Clowney is four inches taller and 17 pounds heavier than Lewis. Sure, he’s got some skills to develop and to adjust to the Texans’ style of play, but the framework for greatness is there.

What made him a college powerhouse was that he was already built like somebody in the NFL with the athletic ability to back it up. He’s only 23 years old and is in a great organization that will help him grow, and grow with him along the way. The Texans defensive team is pretty stacked. With Clowney at linebacker and JJ Watt as a defensive end, one can easily see them starting to become a genuine threat in the NFL.

Clowney’s NFL Combine 40-yard dash was clocked in at 4.53, making him the fastest among defensive linemen. This is no surprise, as most linemen are much heavier. This is why he can succeed as a linebacker. He possesses the explosiveness to break through the heavy offensive line.

In 2015, Clowney finished the season with 40 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and 6 passes defended. He started nine times. We can expect him to finish this season with much better stats, and my guess is he’ll produce at least double as what he got last season. He still has a ways to go in making top 10 linebacker lists, but when he gets there he will likely be in the very top bracket.

In the Houston Texans’ preseason game against the New Orleans Saints, Clowney started to look like he was getting the hang of the NFL. His performance was downright dominant. He had no problem breaking through Zach Strief and Andrus Peat to get to Drew Brees. If you’re a 6-foot quarterback who weighs a little over 200 pounds, you absolutely do not want someone like Jadeveon Clowney within five feet of you – especially if you are 37 years old. Clowney bull-rushed past the two 6’7, 320-pound giants to get to Brees, and this is only a preseason game.
What do you think he’ll be capable of doing once the actual season starts?

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About the author

Alex Moskov

Alex has come on board with CBS as our basketball and gridiron expert, providing opinions and analysis from the bright lights of the NBA and NFL.

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