Jadeveon Clowney viewed as a once-in-a-decade NFL prospect

AP

South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney would have been the first overall pick in this year’s NFL draft if he had been eligible to be drafted. Next year, when he’ll finally be the requisite three years out of high school, he’s expected to go first overall. But Clowney is more than just the best prospect to come out in the last couple years.

Clowney is the best defensive prospect to come out of college football in at least the last 10 years, according to a survey of NFL personnel people conducted by Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com. Jeremiah asked five executives, each with more than 10 years of experience, if Clowney is the best defensive draft prospect in the last 10 years, and all five said he was. The only differences of opinion were about how big the margin between Clowney and everyone else is, and who was the second-best prospect of the last 10 years.

One executive said Clowney is the best “hands down,” while another said Clowney is an easy choice with only Ndamukong Suh, drafted by the Lions with the No. 2 overall pick in 2010, even close. One executive said he’d give Clowney a “slight edge” over Mario Williams, drafted by the Texans first overall in 2006, one said Clowney is first in a group of top defensive prospects that also includes Suh, Williams, Darrelle Revis and Von Miller, and one said that while Clowney is not “perfect,” he’s probably the best in the last decade.

It’s still possible that something could happen to make Clowney drop on draft boards, and it’s also still possible that a quarterback like Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville could have such a spectacular 2013 season that the team with the first pick in the draft considers him too good to pass up in 2014. But at the moment, Clowney looks like not just the best player in next year’s draft, but the most coveted non-quarterback prospect in many years.

136 responses to “Jadeveon Clowney viewed as a once-in-a-decade NFL prospect

  1. “One executive said he’d give Clowney a “slight edge” over Mario Williams, drafted by the Texans first overall in 2006, one said Clowney is first in a group of top defensive prospects that also includes Suh, Williams, Darrelle Revis and Von Miller”

    Hindsight is awesome… Revis wasn’t even a top 10 pick. I’m sure this guy would have drafted Tom Brady in the first round too…

  2. I’ll take this for it’s worth…just an opinion. Also given that praise was Ndamukong Suh who is a good player but not nearly as good as the hype he was given yet someone like JJ Watt was never heard of until he became the leagues best defensive player.

  3. It all depends who drafts him…

    The AFC LEast is likely to draft him given how poor all the teams are. The Jets given their Clown-affinity, are the most likely team to draft him. If he were a QB, Buffalo would be sure to draft him so they can start over again next year.

  4. If a QB needy team like Oakland or Jacksonville ends up with the top pick (a likely scenario), normally you would think they should go with a potential franchise QB like Bridgewater there, but they should still take Clowney and then trade the top pick in round 2 to Washington for Kirk Cousins.

  5. “Prospect” is the key word.

    Results are another story.

    Suh and Williams have been good so far, but nothing spectacular in the NFL.

    JJ Watt, Patrick Willis, Von Miller, Terrell Suggs, Jason Pierre Paul, Richard Sherman, Navarro Bowman, Cameron Wake, Aldon Smith, Demarcus Ware etc etc.

    Gotta perform.

  6. Still a quarterbacks league. Not saying Clowney won’t go #1, but there always seems to be someone who comes out of nowhere, whether it be Cam Newton or RG3 or someone like that. Bridgewater is great, and for all we know Marcus Mariota or Kevin Hogan can have a huge heisman caliber season and seize the top draft spot. There’s still an entire season and draft process to go through.

  7. Didn’t they say the same thing about Ryan Leaf ?

    Nothing is guaranteed until they start playing in live NFL games in the regular season and you see how someone performs with the full level of pressure on them.

  8. humbleminded85 says:

    “JJ Watt was never heard of until he became the leagues best defensive player.”

    ——————————————-

    Nobody heard of him? Before the 2011 draft, Mike Mayock said “J.J. Watt is the best five-technique I’ve ever seen, better than Tyson Jackson who went No. 3 overall.”

    So you mean that YOU never heard of him?

  9. cunninghampeetemcnabbvick says:
    Aug 15, 2013 10:20 AM
    He sounds really promising. Reggie Bush and JaMarcus Russell were both “one in a decade” players when they entered too though.

    ——–

    Neither of those prospects were viewed as “once in a decade” prospects. Andrew Luck is a “once in a decade” QB. Not JaMarcus Russell. Plenty of people saw that train wreck coming from far away.

    Bush definitely had his supporters, but also had plenty of detractors. People who know what they are talking about questioned his ability to run up the middle, like he would have to in the NFL.

    Clowney is better compared to Mario Williams, who has been a bit of a disappointment given his measurables. Or Julius Peppers.

  10. The AFC LEast is likely to draft him given how poor all the teams are.
    ————————————–
    Yo skippy, have you looked @ the AFC West lately? Like the past 5 or 6 years lately?
    Sure the AFC East sucks right now but they’ve also had a representative in the Conference Championship Game 5 of the last 6 seasons. There’s no excuse for how bad KC and Oakland have been recently.

  11. swagger52 says:
    Aug 15, 2013 10:23 AM

    It all depends who drafts him…

    The AFC LEast is likely to draft him given how poor all the teams are. The Jets given their Clown-affinity, are the most likely team to draft him. If he were a QB, Buffalo would be sure to draft him so they can start over again next year.

    Did you watch this past draft? The Bills took EJ Manuel in the first round and he is definitely Buffalo’s Franchise QB. They will not be drafting another QB for the next few years, unless they grab one in the latter rounds for backup duty. If the Bills end up with the first pick in next years draft, which is a long shot, they’d take Clowney. Don’t expect the East to be weak this year, the winds of change are blowing. Check the AFC West, the only team with a winning record from that division will be Denver.

  12. Looks like the Steelers will get themselves a really great player. They’ll need him since their current defense really sucks and is REALLY OLD.

  13. Question is, which NFL team goes into the tank in order to draft him.

    I’d submit with their need for defense, and history of rolling over for can’t miss prospects, the Colts maybe willing to sacrifice another season, and take a dive for Clowney.

  14. I like Clowney a lot but Ndamukon Suh was one of the most dominating linemen I’ve ever see in collge. He should have won the Heismen his senior year and finished higher in the voting than any DT probably ever will again.

  15. …”prospect”….

    Had a broker tell me about a “once in a decade prospect” once; cost me a wife and a 30ft twin engine Cigarette and I loved that 30ft twin engine Cigarette.

    Depends on who drafts him and a bazillion other things

  16. This poor kid is going to be the victim of the biggest over-hyping in the history of sports.

    If he isn’t the best defensive player since LT he will be labeled a bust.

  17. I remember they were saying that about Jimmy Clausen, they even did a special on him on ESPN. All I can say is, “Prove it.”

  18. The NFL is a completely different animal. The league has a way of chewing up and spitting out even the most talented of prospects.

    Let’s see how Clowney performs when he is required to play on a strained MCL, bruised ribs and 3 broken fingers.

  19. cunninghampeetemcnabbvick says:
    Aug 15, 2013 10:20 AM
    “He sounds really promising. Reggie Bush and JaMarcus Russell were both ‘one in a decade’ players when they entered too though.”

    No, they weren’t.

  20. “elmerbrownelmerbrown says:
    Aug 15, 2013 10:25 AM
    Its amazing what one hit in a bowl game will do for you !”

    _________________________________

    you must not pay much attention to college football. Kid was the top prospect in the nation when he was a senior in high school and a dominating starter since day 1.

  21. If I was this guy, I’d probably take up basketball instead. I’m sure he’s great at that too. Better off making $20 million per year for 20 years as opposed to possibly blowing out your knee as a rookie.

  22. The talent scouts are right. Clowney is the real deal, and maybe the best prospect coming out of college in decades. Reminds me of a young Lawrence Taylor, except playing DL instead of LB.

  23. I think Reggie White or Lawrence Taylor comparisons would have garnered more praise. I mean, a slight edge over Williams? He’s having a Charles Mann type career, with a quarter of his tackles. Its respectable but Mann isn’t HOF material and few would argue MW is either. So if this once in a decade player is slightly better than that. I’m a tad disappointed..

  24. If the Bucs picked him with the first pick in the draft, he would suck, because his coach and owners are Schiano and the Glazers. Or imagine if he went to another bad team like the Raiders or Jaguars or Dolphins. Any good player in a bad situation won’t have much success. Look how many Defensive Lineman the Bucs have selected in the past few years. They are like the Lions were with WR’s!

  25. Ill admit, I have never seen this young man play. But, am I the only one who gets tired of college players being touted as the second coming of Jim Brown, before they even step foot on an NFL practice field?
    The pro game is so much faster than the college game that its not even funny.
    There has been more than 1 college stud, who turned out to be an NFL dud (can you say Ryan Leaf?).
    It’s all well and good to call a player what he is….if he’s great in college, fine call him that. But to say he’s a great NFL player is premature at best.
    Let’s see what happens before we say he’s a once in a decade or once in a lifetime player.
    And before I get off my soap box here….lets stop grading the draft immediately upon it’s conclusion….it falls in the same category as my previous statements.
    Thank You & GOD Bless

  26. He probably has been reading his own press clippings with that hit on loop on BSPN. “The hit herd around the world” smdh.

  27. I’m old enough to remember Tony Mandarich on the cover of SI with everyone proclaiming him the best lineman prospect to EVER come out of college. He and Brian Bosworth were going to be the new faces of the NFL. Whoops.

  28. While Clowney is an exceptional college player and should be at the least a really good pro player, at 275 lbs and with presumably 4.6-4.7 speed, I don’t see anything that screams once-in-a-decade prospect. There have been lots of prospects with those measurements and the college production Clowney has had thus far and many of them have been really good in the NFL.

    As far as just being a “prospect” I can’t find anyone better the last decade than Mario Williams who had 14.5 sacks his senior year at NC State and then ran a 4.7 40 at 295 lbs. Peppers would probably be better, too, but he’s been out longer than a decade now.

  29. You have to love the sense of humor the Toronto Bills fans bring to a discussion. EJ Manual, “WE”RE THE BEST!!!”… pretty funny, you guys really know how to bring the sarcasm. Never lose that “can’t win” attitude Bills fans, the rest of the AFC East luv’s y’all!!!

  30. Yeah, but if he ends up in Oakland, that’s where all careers go off to die. He won’t have anyone to mentor or discipline him, which means all that talent could go to waste.

    Then again, half the commentors on here seem to think the Ravens will only win 3 games this season because they lost sooooooooooooooo much since last year, which means they could wind up with the #1 overall pick. Hey, I’ll take Clowney and add him with Haloti Ngata, Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil, Courtney Upshaw, Arthur Brown, Daryl Smith, and Brandon Williams.

  31. Ndamukong Suh isnt even the best DT in football! Suh couldn’t carry Geno Atkins jockstrap with a fork lift!!

  32. Clowney reminds me SO much of Mario Williams. MASSIVE amounts of talent with the same effort issue. Guys like this have never had to REALLY try in order to be successful. They could both be “Hall of Fame” great if they put the 90% effort that Clowney’s coach is hoping for this year.

    Clowney has come up big in big situations, like the Outback bowl last year, but he was mostly quiet the rest of that game. If he’d played that hard the whole season they might have gotten to at least the SECCG… maybe further.

  33. Talk about setting a kid up for failure. Remember the name, “Aaron Lynch”. The best DE you haven’t heard of. FREAK.

  34. Yeah, Suh’s nothing special, he was only the number one defensive tackle in sacks in 2010, top ten in 2011, and second in 2012. The Lions really whiffed on that one.

  35. ravenmuscle says:

    Looks like the Steelers will get themselves a really great player. They’ll need him since their current defense really sucks and is REALLY OLD.

    I will bet you my house, car AND business that the Steelers are not going to finish the season with the 1st pick in the draft.

  36. Let the “Drown for Clown” campaign begin.

    This is trademarked – so send me $5 every time you use it.

  37. Who was the last #1 overall pick out of South Carolina…? Oh, right that guy the Saints picked ahead of LT.

    What’s his name again? George? Roger? Something like that?

  38. We hear this hype all the time.
    I remember the whole “Reggie Bush is going to change the NFL” and “Mario Williams is the best DE prospect since Reggie White”….

    How did that turn out?

    Reggie Bush is vastly overrated and is now on his 3rd NFL team.

    Mario Williams while better than Bush is nowhere near Reggie White and is now on his 2nd NFL team.

    Clowney maybe worth all the hype but color me skeptical…

  39. He talked to 5 whole executives about this? Wow! I mean, assuming they were all from different teams that’s less than 1/6th of the league, obviously a large enough sample size to conclude that the entire league thinks this guy is the second coming.

  40. Physical tools are only HALF of what a player needs for success in the NFL.

    He can have all the talent in the world (Ryan Leaf), but if he can’t handle the responsibility, money, friends and family, playbook, speed, strength and conditioning along with being the hyped as a “Once in a Decade” player, then the physical means nothing.

    Not to mention, he is going to be going to the worst team in football, meaning he is going to have an additional TON of pressure on him, especially if the team that picks him needs a QB, and they pass on the best QB in the draft for him.

  41. Still seems like a lot of hyperbole to me. The NFL ranks are stacked with unheralded players who achieved greatness along with college superstars who flamed or achieved mediocrity. All of a sudden, the scouts are so sure. “This time we know what we’re talking about”.

    The depth of talent in the NFL compared to the college game makes it hard to project these things.

  42. “If the Bucs picked him with the first pick in the draft, he would suck, because his coach and owners are Schiano and the Glazers. Or imagine if he went to another bad team like the Raiders or Jaguars or Dolphins. Any good player in a bad situation won’t have much success. Look how many Defensive Lineman the Bucs have selected in the past few years. They are like the Lions were with WR’s!”

    McCoy was hurt the first two seasons and was in the probowl. Clayborn was playing at a high level before he got hurt last year and yesterday he threw their probowl tackle into Tom Brady. The secondary has been the problem. Can’t get a pass rush if everyone is open. Dont give them any credit for the number one run defense ,go watch soccer

  43. What loser team is gonna tank to grab this kid by the looks of it either Oakland, Jacksonville, or the ESPN Jets have the best shot. all very very horrible.

  44. This is hands down best college DE I ever seen. He a freak and will be one of the nfl best pass rushers for years to come baring injuries. I see jets, raiders, browns, or jaguars most likely to get him.

  45. I sure hope ESPN shows a clip of him making that tackle and forced fumble in the Michigan game. After all, it has been 32 seconds since the last time they showed it, so they are overdue.

  46. Oakland, jags, jets.

    those would be my bottom 3 this season. I really hope he doesn’t get stuck a Jet where we hear about him non stop, but then again with some afc west bias I don’t want him in Oakland either.

    jags? yeesh

    someone else needs to tank this season

  47. cheapglazers says:Aug 15, 2013 11:22 AM

    If the Bucs picked him with the first pick in the draft, he would suck, because his coach and owners are Schiano and the Glazers. Or imagine if he went to another bad team like the Raiders or Jaguars or Dolphins. Any good player in a bad situation won’t have much success. Look how many Defensive Lineman the Bucs have selected in the past few years. They are like the Lions were with WR’s!

    why do i always see comments of you hatin on my bucs.. for 1 dont say the will bucs will draft clowney because we wont even have shot to get him because our pick will be after 25th(if not higher) in next year draft. if we could pull it off and get him. he would be successful(like a JJ WATT).please just leave my bucs alone.

  48. But it’s important to note: The 5 NFL Executives that said Clowney was awesome were:

    Vinny Cerrato
    Matt Russel
    Tom Heckert
    Joe Banner
    Mark Davis
    and
    Matt Millen

  49. Spurrier had a fella like this in Florida named Jevon Kearse. Put together some sick highlight film, “freak” combine stats and about four good years in the NFL before succumbing to nagging injuries.

    Not bad.

  50. I love how an executive throws Revis in there. I highly doubt he saw him being this good coming out.

  51. Clowney is a beast and was the top recruit coming out of HS but the hyperbole needs to be kept in check here. His character and intelligence are questionable and capable of getting in the way of incredible potential.

  52. does RG3 aka BOB approve of this message? isn’t BOB the only player in the NFL that we are allowed to talk about? we have to ask his opinion on this situation before daring to comment on any other player in the NFL

  53. Doesn’t matter if he is the best prospect in a decade because he’s going to end up being a Raider or a Jet and then his career will be ruined.

    He’ll be the greatest “What If” in the last decade after one of those two teams finish with him. LOL

  54. What about that Luck-dude who is the QB over in Indy?

    Teams were dumping games for a shot to draft him.

    Are we going to see that again?

  55. I really like Clowney and he would look awesome in a black 7 jersey (I know they will not let him wear 7, but they should), but I have no clue how he will do in the league. The media is just doing what is usually does, over hype a kid to fill the 24 hour news cycle. Also, I am not sure that he will land with Oakland, cause I don’t think Oakland is as bad as the media says. But if he did, that means Oakland had one of the worst records, and inturn all their coaches would most like be fired and this process starts all over. I think Oakland finally has stabilty in its coaching, I would like to these coaches given a chance to succeed.

  56. Too bad he has to spend another year not getting paid and risking injury because of greedy NCAA rules.

  57. LOVE the HATE on my RAIDERS!!!!
    Far worse teams out there and the Haters STILL can’t keep the. RAIDERS out there mouth, LOL!!!

  58. 1. Clowney was physically ready for the NFL coming out of high school. Anyone who doesn’t know about this guy or claims this is a “one play” guy needs to learn the game of football.

    2. Aaron Curry was NEVER said to be once in a decade prospect, he was called, “the most sure prospect in the draft” by analysts.

    3. Russell was supposed to be a late 1st or 2nd round pick, but the Raiders were dumb back then.

    4. Jets and Raiders will be in the mix. But if Gus Bradley gets a hold of this guy in Jacksonville, he will terrorize Luck for years.

    I would pass on a quarterback for this guy without question. I agree with everyone pointing out that it says, “prospect”. It doesn’t say NFL Pro. We don’t know how good he’s going to be, but as a prospect…he’s once in a decade for sure.

  59. He’ll be ok, Everybody loved Suh when he came out and he’s…ok, lets not get too excited about this guy just cause he lit up a running back

  60. allaboutdabillslikebuffalo says: Aug 15, 2013 10:43 AM
    Cant miss prospect just like E J Manuel
    Go bills 2013 AFC East champs??

    Thanks for the laugh! Just focus on getting out of the cellar and putting the jets in it. That’s about all you can hope for. Manuel is raw and Buffalo has a way of turning prospects into busts.

  61. Everyone complaining about the hype surrounding Clowney, but already calling him a bust. Different side of the same coin. If my team is sitting number #1 overall, I would be more than happy for them to take him. My bet is that those comparing him to Mandarich and Bosworth would be too.

  62. Now you know why Reggie did not address the DL position in this year’s draft and dumped Palmer … with the #1 pick of the 2014 draft the Oakland Raiders select …

    I’m sure the refs will try to help the other loser teams this year by not giving the Raiders so many penalties.

  63. What it comes down to is you need to ask yourself “If my team is on the clock, would I want them to take this guy?”

    If your answer is anything other than “YES”, then maybe football isn’t your thing.

    Bottom line is the guy is a “once in a decade” PROSPECT. No one is saying once he gets drafted that its automatic he’s going to be a great/elite pro.

    Maybe dial back on the nitpicking and focus more on the intent of the article guys….

  64. He hasn’t happened to play Alabama in his career. He played LSU once and did not get a sack. He played Florida twice and got a sack in one of the games. He has 3 sacks in 2 games against Georgia, but he will find that NFL o-lines are better than those at Georgia. If he just matured early and doesn’t continue to get much bigger or stronger then he may find the NFL frustrating. Sometimes the guys who have NFL bodies coming out of high school don’t have the sustained careers of the ones who develop throughout college.

  65. The hype on this dude is outrageous. Lewan locked his ass up so is he the next Tony Boselli? Sure the dude is good but look at who these clowns are saying was on the list… revis? So he was one of the top 6-7 prospects in the last decade but didn’t even go in the top 6 of his draft class? I hope that wasn’t Mayhew that said that. Maybe Millen?

  66. Not saying he will indisputably live up to the hype, but if I am a certain NY GM, I call my coach into the office and say “W–x, we’re all friends here, I will offer you a special parting bonus if you secure that draft pick, and it shouldn’t even be that hard to do.”

  67. elmerbrownelmerbrown says:
    Aug 15, 2013 10:25 AM
    Its amazing what one hit in a bowl game will do for you !

    ——————————————————-

    One hit? That’s all?

    And now we know just how ignorant you are…

  68. ravenmuscle says: Aug 15, 2013 10:46 AM

    Looks like the Steelers will get themselves a really great player. They’ll need him since their current defense really sucks and is REALLY OLD
    ====================================================

    Sucks? And old?

    If that were true how were they the #1 defense last year and are even younger and faster.

    You’ve been suffering humiliation as a Ratbirds fan for a long so i can see why you’d be hateful towards the Steelers but the fact remains that Baltimore has had 3 good years, and not all in a row, so it’s still too early that Ravens are so dominant.

    If anything, you should be worried given the fact that a great amount of defending SB teams fail to make the post-season the following year.

    And certain Ravens fans are really starting to behave EXACTLY how they say Steelers fans do..

    ..oh, the irony…

  69. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. And considering how the Lions D has done since drafting Suh, Clowney may be great but it is still a team game.

  70. Michigan junior All-American left tackle Taylor Lewan handled Clowney except for a few plays including ” The Hit ” I would take Lewan over Clowney
    BUT , Clowney Is a total BEAST no doubt

  71. I agree with @jimmysee

    A report from the NFL hyping an NFL prospect. Im so excited I wet myself.

    Also, it should be noted that when you conduct a survey and ask a question in the affirmative, the response will 9 out of 10 times be in the affirmative.

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