Jadeveon Clowney is ready for the NFL and, according to analysts, the NFL is more than ready for his otherworldly skills.
The defensive end from South Carolina declared on Wednesday his intention to skip his senior year in favor of the NFL draft.
It was just minutes after the Gamecocks’ 34-24 win over Wisconsin in the Capital One Bowl that Jadeveon Clowney announced his decision. Responding to a reporter who asked if he would declare for the NFL draft, Clowney responded: “Yes, sir.”
Clowney shouldn’t have to wait long on NFL draft day to hear his name called. He is the top-rated prospect by ESPN Scouts Inc., and No. 1 according to ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. Only the penchant for teams to find a franchise quarterback is likely to keep him out of the top spot in the draft, which is expected to go to quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
Jadeveon Clowney has a unique combination of size and speed. The 6-foot-6, 274-pound defensive end is a nightmare for opposing linemen, and in his sophomore year recorded a team-record 13.5 sacks and 23.5 tackles for a loss.
Clowney had a much tougher go during his junior season, when offenses focused on shutting him down. He still managed to earn All-SEC honors, however.
Though he is undoubtedly a top 5 pick in the NFL draft, Jadeveon Clowney has some question marks surrounding him. There are some concerns about his discipline and off-field behavior, including an arrest in December for driving 110 miles per hour in a 70 mile per hour zone. Clowney was issued a ticket from the South Carolina Highway Patrol that will cost him $355, though the possible hit to his draft stock could hurt even more.
But as long as Jadeveon Clowney stays out of trouble and turns in a good combine performance — as he’s expected to do — the speeding ticket will likely be forgotten.