In order to familiarize fans with some of the top names in the 2014 NFL Draft, Chargers.com will be highlighting a different prospect each weekday leading up to the first day of the draft on May 8th.
We begin the series with a scouting report of South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney.
Name: Jadeveon Clowney
School: South Carolina
Weight: 266 pounds
Position: Defensive End
We’ve heard about Jadeveon Clowney for the better part of two years, so who else better to kick off our Prospect Profile series than the South Carolina stud?
A freakish athlete in a 6-5, 266-pound frame, he has the ability to single handedly take over a game. Many draft pundits compare him to former star Jevon Kearse as well as the Buffalo Bill’s Mario Williams, a former number one overall selection, but with even more raw athleticism. A few media experts have said he is the most hyped defensive prospect since Lawrence Taylor.
Productive as a freshman, Clowney truly burst onto the scene as a sophomore in 2012 when he set school single-season records with 13.0 sacks and a whopping 23.5 tackles for loss. He became the first sophomore to ever win the Hendricks Award as the country’s top defensive end and was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year.
Clowney’s signature play came in the 2013 Outback Bowl against Michigan. He exploded off the line of scrimmage before anyone could even move out of their stance. Showcasing his speed, he sprinted past highly touted tackle Taylor Lewan to greet running back Vincent Smith five yards in the backfield. Showing his brute force, he levied a bone-rattling hit that not only jarred the ball loose, but also sent Smith’s helmet flying off. He then calmly scooped up the football, sealing a highlight that some to this day consider one of the most impressive plays in college football history.
Although Clowney’s stats dipped in 2013 to 36 tackles and 3.0 sacks, few are worried about that output as he battled through injuries. He still posted 11.5 tackles for loss, which ranked second on the squad. The biggest knock against Clowney at this point are concerns about his work ethic, but to his credit, each of his Gamecock teammates have refuted that claim and sung his praises.
As a result, Clowney is a special talent who many expect to be one of the first names called at Radio City Music Hall on May 8th.
40-yard Dash: 4.53 seconds
Bench Press: 21 reps
Vertical Jump: 37.5 inches
Broad Jump: 124.0 inches