Jadeveon Clowney shows off his rare talent

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The backlash against South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney was predictable: He entered this season hyped as a sure-thing No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft, and so the first time he looked like anything less than a prime Lawrence Taylor, there was going to be grumbling that maybe Clowney wasn’t as good as everyone said.

But in one half of football today against Tennessee, Clowney pretty well silenced any talk that he’s anything other than the most talented defensive player to come out of college football in years. Although his South Carolina teammates have not played particularly well against the Volunteers, Clowney has been a one-man wrecking machine.

On Tennessee’s second play from scrimmage, the Volunteers ran a shovel pass to receiver Alton Howard. But as soon as Howard got the ball, Clowney had already sidestepped a block and entered Tennessee’s backfield, where he instantly wrapped Howard up for a loss of five yards.

Later in the first quarter, Clowney blew past Tennessee left tackle Antonio Richardson (who’s viewed by some as a likely first-round pick himself) and destroyed Tennessee running back Rajion Neal behind the line of scrimmage. Clowney’s hit on Neal was reminiscent of Clowney’s famous hit against Michigan running back Vincent Smith, although unlike Smith, Neal managed to keep both his helmet and the football.

Another tackle for loss came when Tennessee tried to run around the left side and had a tackle and guard double team Clowney. Two blockers weren’t enough, as Clowney simply took both of them with him toward the sideline before shedding the block and bringing down the ball carrier.

In the most bizarre play of the game, Clowney wrapped Neal up in the backfield the moment Neal got the handoff from quarterback Justin Worley, and Neal panicked and tossed the ball back toward Worley immediately. I’ve never seen anything quite like that happen before, but I’ve never seen any defensive lineman wreak havoc on an opposing offense the way Clowney has, either.

There may be legitimate questions about whether Clowney takes too many plays off. And the truth is, it was always premature to label Clowney as a sure-thing first overall pick because there are no sure things this far out from the next draft. But anyone who’s wondering why Clowney is viewed as a once-in-a-generation talent just needs to see his first half against Tennessee.

25 responses to “Jadeveon Clowney shows off his rare talent

  1. I can’t imagine that anyone questions his ability to play football in the NFL. His talent, size, quickness are all undeniable. The question is his character and commitment to playing hard on every play and every game.

    It’s that concern that could make his draft stock fall.

    I see a “contract year” kind of player.

  2. With the second pick in the 2014 NFL draft, the New York Giants select Jadeveon Clowney, defensive end, University of South Carolina.

  3. Welcome to Buffalo Clowney. You will be lining up opposite of Mario Williams with Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus in between. That would be one hell of a Defensive line!

  4. The boy is a MONSTER……….. when he is all in. Hopefully he doesn’t pull a Haynesworth in the NFL, play until you get that BIG contract and then kick your feet up.

  5. EJ says:
    Oct 19, 2013 2:43 PM
    Welcome to Buffalo Clowney. You will be lining up opposite of Mario Williams with Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus in between. That would be one hell of a Defensive line!

    ———————————-

    I think you mean “….on paper”.

    Because that’s all the Bills defense has been is a heck of a defense….on paper. They’re 27th in overall defense. Adding Clowney wouldn’t suddenly change that front into a top-3 defense anymore than adding that fat guy from Alabama next to Suh did anything.

  6. kd75 says:
    Oct 19, 2013 2:42 PM
    With the second pick in the 2014 NFL draft, the New York Giants select Jadeveon Clowney, defensive end, University of South Carolina.

    ——————————————————

    NY team needs:

    Linebackers
    Running Backs
    Defensive Linemen
    Offensive Linemen

    and….Secondary.

    and possibly Quarterback but this need is overshadowed by the other profoundly obvious team needs.

    Clowney won’t be a Giant. His #2 overall spot will be traded for more desperately needed picks.

  7. I think any team with the chance to draft Clowney, will draft Clowney. You can’t pass up that kind of talent. And if the Giants keep tumbling, having JPP and Clowney as book ends will be ridiculous.

  8. If Clowney is on the board when the giants pick, he’ll be a Giant. If the Giants pick at #2 Clowney will be there unless the Jags trade out of the #1 spot and set their sites on one of the QB’s other than Bridgewater.

  9. He was legitimately injured, it turns out. Now I think we’re seeing the real Clowney.
    And for the Bills to get a shot at Clowney, they would have to completely shut it down right now. The Bucs and the Jags would most likely go for a QB. The Giants would take him.

  10. Not sure how many of you clowns watched the game but he made some plays but the other plays he was doing nothing but standing there.

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