Jadeveon Clowney has impressed football scouts wherever he has played, but there had been some talk coming into this season that the NFL might finally be the place where he proved he was mortal.
It appears Jadeveon is ready to show people that Mr. Clowney can handle the rigors of the professional football league as well as he handled college football.
There were certainly some ups and downs for Jadeveon in his first ever NFL game, but Clowney showed the kind of talent the Houston Texans were hoping for when they drafted the defensive end in the first round.
As Yahoo Sports reports, it took just two plays for the Texans to get a glimpse into a future where Jadeveon and JJ Watts will create havoc on the defensive front. Clowney and Watts lined up right next to each other, and their combined presence was enough to get Watts the sack on the ensuing play.
Later in the game, however, Jadeveon showed that he certainly is a rookie, and there are some things the defensive superstar still needs to learn. Playing linebacker for the first time in his career, Clowney was plenty comfortable as a pass rusher.
Jadeveon was far less comfortable when he had to drop back into coverage. Clowney was burned rather conspicuously on one play that was thankfully called back because of a penalty, but his weakness still showed through.
Jadeveon Clowney showed in his one brief outing that, as NFL.com pointed out, he is pretty much exactly who we thought he was. The man is very good at rushing the passer.
The former South Carolina superstar has also shown he understands how to diagnose and stop a running play before it ever gets started. During his first game against the Cardinals, he made a spectacular tackle for a five-yard loss that illustrated exactly why the team has moved him to linebacker in the first place.
Of course, this was Jadeveon’s very first game in the NFL, so it’s almost impossible to tell if the mistakes Clowney made in this first game are ones that he can correct or ones that will weigh him down.
The man was so good and so tough last year, it recently came out that he had played the entire 2013 season with a sports hernia. Fully healthy this season (so far), it seems as if Jadeveon Clowney has enough raw talent that he’ll be able to overcome his struggles.