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Pierre-Louis, Smith are the only linebackers faster than Clowney

telvinsmith AP

It goes without saying that former South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is the fastest defensive lineman at the Scouting Combine. He was also only two-hundredths of a second away from tying the fastest linebacker.

Only two linebackers ran faster than Clowney’s official time of 4.53 seconds in the 40-yard dash: Kevin Pierre-Louis of Boston College (4.51) and Telvin Smith of Florida State (4.52).

Freak athletes like Clowney who can run a 4.53-second 40 at 266 pounds just don’t come around very often, so it’s unsurprising that the two linebackers who are faster than Clowney are a whole lot smaller than him. Pierre-Louis weighed in at 232 pounds, while Smith is a safety-sized 218 pounds.

Smith’s speed makes him a likely special teams contributor, but he probably can’t hold up as an NFL linebacker unless he adds some size. Smith was also only a starter for one season at Florida State. Pierre-Louis, on the other hand, was a four-year starter at Boston College and looks like the type of player who should be able to contribute to an NFL defense as a rookie.

Both Pierre-Louis and Smith looked very good in the 40 today. But no one looked as good as Clowney.

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8 Responses to “Pierre-Louis, Smith are the only linebackers faster than Clowney”
  1. chinahand11 says: Feb 24, 2014 3:32 PM

    They better snag this guy # 1. Funny, I wish he was a Mike linebacker, or even a stand-up OLB like the Stork. Clowney isn’t a “guaranteed” super star, but no one is. Just in case though ….

  2. kd75 says: Feb 24, 2014 3:51 PM

    I thought Clowney ran a 4.47 40…

  3. tongsareinyourseatback says: Feb 24, 2014 3:56 PM

    Am I alone in believing the sports media is intentionally promoting Clowney in anticipation of writing stories 2-3 years from now about him being an epic bust?

  4. nyfootballgiants says: Feb 24, 2014 4:00 PM

    If my defensive linemen are running 40 yards, then I have bigger concerns.

    Everyone knew he’d run a fast 40. I want to know why he went into the tank this year. Everyone he goes up against this year was the best player in their team/conference. What is his excuse going to be then?

  5. justintuckrule says: Feb 24, 2014 4:04 PM

    4.47 was the “unofficial” time…whatever that means.

  6. peymax1693 says: Feb 24, 2014 4:07 PM

    Quickness is more important than speed as a DE.
    Just like quickness is more important than speed for a slot receiver.

  7. djshnooks says: Feb 24, 2014 5:24 PM

    There are plenty of linebackers who are smaller, and very successful. Two of the top of my head…Lavonte David (6-1, 230) and Jon Beason (6-0, 230)…both are very successful, and good linebackers.

    All he has to do is add 10-15 lbs, and he will be exactly the size of them.

    Tell those guys there is only a place for small linebackers on special teams.

    (London Fletcher is quite small as well, and he had quite the career…Keith Ellison was another really small LB who had quite a lengthy career, Coy Wire was another.)

  8. chargrz says: Feb 24, 2014 8:06 PM

    Now that Clowney had a fast combine time he can take the rest of his FB career off.

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