Former South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney entered the 2013 college football season universally regarded as the top pro prospect in college football. And although his draft stock may have slipped slightly over the last few months, Clowney still sees himself as the No. 1 pick.
Clowney said today on ESPN Radio that “[i]t’s very important” to him to go first overall, and he believes his performance at the Scouting Combine will cement his status as the draft’s top prospect. Clowney likewise said he should be the top pick during a visit to The Dan Patrick Show.
“Coming out of high school I told myself I wanted to go into the draft and to be the No. 1 pick,” Clowney said. “I worked hard to get to this point in my life where I gave myself a great chance to go No. 1 in the draft and hopefully I will get to be No. 1. I’m going to try to prove myself at the Combine and hopefully just go up from there.”
Clowney almost certainly would have been the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft if not for the NFL’s rule requiring players to be at least three years out of high school before they enter the draft. The 2014 draft, however, has a much better quarterback class than last year’s draft, and most people think the Houston Texans will select one of those quarterbacks — Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater or Blake Bortles — with the first pick. Clowney has a good chance of being the first non-quarterback drafted, but he probably won’t be the first overall pick.