Jadeveon Clowney makes a mockery of the 40

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We knew Jadeveon Clowney was an athletic freak. But we weren’t prepared for this.

Clowney, the former South Carolina defensive end who is widely regarded as the most talented player in this year’s draft, ran his first 40-yard dash in an unofficial time of 4.47 seconds.

That time is insane for a defensive lineman. At last year’s Combine, the fastest 40 for a defensive lineman was 4.60 seconds. Two years ago, Bruce Irvin was considered a freakish athlete who propelled himself into the first round when he ran a 4.50-second 40 at 245 pounds. Clowney weighs 266 pounds.

Of course, the reality is that Clowney’s 40 time doesn’t matter all that much because anyone who has seen him play knew he was obscenely fast. If there are questions about Clowney, those questions are about whether he goes hard on every play, and whether he has the right work ethic on the practice field. There are no questions about Clowney’s speed.

151 responses to “Jadeveon Clowney makes a mockery of the 40

  1. The so called “experts” need to give these guys a bit of a break. They are young, still growing, still developing. The only thing that would concern me as an owner would be character problems that lead to off the field trouble.

  2. The only reason a 40 time like that would matter for Clowney is that he would have the speed to play 3-4 OLB in addition to 4-3 DE. The added versatility is nice, but with someone that has as many work ethic questions as he does, can you really count on him to do the time in the film room and with his playbook to pick up another position.

    He’s big and he’s fast. He’s going to have to do more than speed rush to make it in the NFL, though.

  3. I’d caution reading into the unofficial 40 times the NFL Network is providing. They’ve generally been .10 to .15 fast the last couple days.

  4. Still think the texans are picking manziel, but remember before the season started clowney was #1 on a lot of draft boards. This is the reason why.

  5. We all knew he was good at going fast, just ask the cops who caught him speeding twice.

    Still doesn’t make up for his massive lack of work ethic and serious off the field issues, or for a terrible 2013 season.

    If Houston gets him at #1, they’ll be picking at #1 again next year. Guaranteed.

  6. Mockery ?

    How about “blowed up” .

    I’d rather hear an ‘Emmitt term’ versus an incorrect one…

  7. Lots of hype. He dominated college. We’ll see if he can dominate experienced professional tackles. 40 speed means diddly when you’re 2 feet away from your adversary. I’m not sold on the guy. The fact his coach didn’t think he was the hardest working guy gives me deep pause.

  8. Can someone show me me a video of a DL running 40 yards straight in a game? Or can I see some video of Peyton, Brady, Brees or Rodgers doing a broad jump in a game? The only thing I want to see at the combine is how players show up. Have they been working on on their Call Of Duty skills while eating snacks or have they been eating right and working out.

  9. Clowney has all the ability in the world,,but ZERO discipline,,,zip nada. I watched him here in SC for 3 years,,he plays when he wants to,,off the field he has no spirit to “do the work” even in college he would feign injury to avoid practice and off season workouts. Once he has some loot in his pocket, he will be a major problem child for the coach, owner and team. Even spurrier refused to give him a glowing Ref.

  10. I think the Texans would be wise to draft Clowney. Maybe try to get a veteran FA QB, but you just can’t pass on this guy.

    “Chasing that first open market contract” will be plenty of motivation.

  11. Yeah, I agree. This guy has to be the “safest” pick out there. Houston needs a QB and everyone can use a good pass rusher but Cowney has the thru-the-roof pro potential none of the QB’s do, IMO. Can’t duplicate size/speed ratio this guy has. Maybe the light will turn on when he gets to the NFL.

  12. He’s freakishly lazy. Watched a lot this year. Seen him take himself out of games on third downs in 4th quarter. Get stood up by fringe players. Watching him makes you sick. It’s like he doesn’t want to play. Takes 4 out of 5 plays of and goes 50% on the play he plays hard. Makes Albert Haynesworth look like bill romonowski in effort

  13. If you think that’s fast, wait until he gets into his sports car outside the club at 3:30 am following his signing bonus.

  14. I don’t think whoever drafts him is going to have to worry about his motivation the first year. With that criticism about effort hanging over his head, he can say he has something to prove.

    I hope Houston drafts a QB and Clowney goes to the Rams. That way the Panthers have until 2016 to get a better offensive line before having to deal with a line featuring Clowney and Quinn.

  15. Tough decision to make at the top of the draft. Picking a bust is embarrassing and costly, but passing on a once in a generation talent (i.e. Raiders passing on Calvin Johnson) is probably even worse.

  16. Not a Texans fan but they would be dumb to pass on him. get a qb second round or suck another year and get Winston.

  17. If he can’t put out that kind of effort every play, I don’t want him.

    I see him being a good but not great player who shows flashes of brilliance. Hope I am wrong.

  18. If he doesn’t try in college, what is he going to do when he gets paid? Could be another Jamarcus Russell, or Vince Young.

  19. Wow Houston, can you really pass him up? Wow Rams, can you really pass him up?

    And what if he falls as far as # 4 to the Raiders? Who are desperate for good players on the D-line.

  20. Sounds good – if we were all robots. No doubt these numbers are off the charts. Now we know what he CAN run – it doesn’t mean that’s what he WILL run in the 4th quarter with the game on the line. History could be an indicator.

  21. I’m in no way stunned by this. The first “freak” defensive end I followed closely was Jevon Kearse, who ran a 4.43 forty at the combine. And that was his OFFICAL time. These unofficial times are so misleading: Yesterday, for instance, online media went nuts when Manziel clocked a 4.56 on hand-helds, but when the curtain was lifted, he’d actually run a more pedestrian 4.68 officially.

    Of course, the flip-side of this is that Clowney may have actually run a 4.3 forty, which we’ll know soon when the official time is released.

  22. .

    Taking plays off in college is somewhat understandable. I don’t think Bill Obrien, Romeo Crennell , or JJ Watt would be having any of that at the NFL level.


  23. That’s a freak stat for a guy that big. As mentioned by many draft analysts, hopefully he can keep his motor on, as that would be fun to watch such a talent chase down qbs. If the Texans do draft him & put him across Watt that will be scary.

  24. You gotta wonder now if one of the teams picking in the top five will try cutting a deal with the Texans to trade up and take Clowney #1 overall. Such a deal might be in the Texans’ best interest since they’d still get a top pick plus an extra pick at the top of the second round or something.

  25. insane

    good thing the NFL isn’t a gym competition.
    This guy was heads and shoulders above everyone he played in college.

    in the NFL however, it takes more than physical athleticism to be successful.
    His dedication is what has been in question.
    I feel the bench press answered more questions about Clowney than any other test.

    bearing in mind 5’8 179 lb man our performed him there.
    granted, they didn’t have to move the weight with 35” arms.

  26. Agreed with the sentiment above that teams will regret passing on Clowney, and I’ll escalate by saying that 31 other NFL teams will regret not trading with the Rams who are basically taking offers for the 2 spot, effectively giving every team a opportunity to have Clowney on their roster.

  27. If you look at his split… his first 10 yds is insane fast. He’s going to make some all pro LTs look silly.

    I’m seriously trying to think how teams would gameplan against Clowney and Watt..

    And think of this, he’s 6’6″, 265 lbs and runs a 4.47…. He would be indefensible as a TE/WR….

  28. This dude is a physical beast. The problem with people who are so naturally physically gifted is that they don’t work as hard as someone who isn’t gifted as those who always had to work hard just to be average and train immensely to be great. Former Cleveland Browns linebacker Rahim Abdullah said that he’d always been able to rely on physical ability and he was stunned when mere physical gifts weren’t enough. He was drafted in wound 2 in 1999 and out of the league by 2001.

    If Clowneyhas Jordan, Jerry Rice, Walter Payton work ethic then he can be one of the greatest all time, if not he will be Rahim Abdullah. He will surely get more than 2 years because of his high draft position and potential, but if he doesn’t get the big second comtract he will only be able to blame himself.

  29. Well, if he doesn’t turn out to be an every down player, maybe he can just return kicks and punts.

  30. 4.47 is the UNOFFICIAL time, Manziel’s 4.56 turned into a 4.68. I don’t care how talented he is or how fast he runs, if he doesn’t work at the next level he won’t succeed, BUST

  31. tennesseeoilers…great call. Official time of 4.43 at 262 lbs.

    Kearse’s speed just wasn’t in shorts. I remember him chasing Priest Holmes down from behind 30 yds down field.


  33. Old saying.. “Defense wins you games” and OT’s have no chance against these DE’s, If Romeo turns them loose. Forget 3 to 5 step drop…. QB’s better get rid of it in 1 step.

  34. Maybe I just don’t “get it,” but why is the perceived difference between a 4.44 and a 4.47 so much smaller than the perceived difference between a 4.47 and a 4.50?

  35. DE isn’t a big need for the Texans. If Clowney was an ILB or a Safety, maybe.

    ILB’s the biggest non-QB need Houston has, because when someone inevitably takes out Cushing on a deliberate (and shady) hit – Matt Slauson in 2012 and Jamaal Charles in 2013 – the defense falls apart.

    Safety is almost up there, because the secondary’s in more need of help than the defensive line is.

  36. Some players approach this as a job, as a working professional, knowing that many others also depend on how they perform. Others get giddy with the money, feel they can now do whatever they want, and become not only more immature, but immature with loads of cash. Clowney’s future will depend on which road he takes. His biggest task right now is not his 40 time, but the impression he leaves in the interviews. Same goes for Manziel.

  37. 3 cone drill for a DL will be more telling in my opinion. If you have a situation where one of your Defensive ends has to run long distances then you have problems. Certainly doesn’t hurt though

  38. I hope he gets bad mouthed and hated until he drops to the Steelers. Then you really here an outcry.

    “But I thought he was overrated?”

  39. The prospect of Clowney and Watt is certainly appealing. But suppose Manziel is another Russell Wilson-The Texan’s need a quarterback more than they need defensive help. I think a big upgrade in quarterback equates to more wins.

  40. tvjules says: Feb 24, 2014 9:17 AM

    Not many teams have an O-Line that could matchup against both Watt and Clowney. (especially in the AFC South).
    Yeah but who is going to score Touch downs for TEXANS?
    Texans are going to take Bridgewater ..
    We pretty much know how this is going to go since we have more sources than any media outlet
    Texans) Bridgewater
    Rams) OT Robinson
    Jaguars) Johnny Manziel
    Browns) Clowney
    Raiders) Watkins
    Bortles will either go to vikings or tampa.
    Raiders will try and get Derek Carr later in draft

  41. Seeing athletes that are 260 to 291 running 40’s below 4.8 makes me wonder if we aren’t reaching a point where the limits of punishment to the human body will make the average playing life span of NFL players absurdly short. No wonder we are seeing increased concussions. The days of a player under 205 pounds no matter what position are definitely numbered. In a few years, safeties will probably average 220 lbs, LB’s at 260, RB’s at 240, and offensive linemen at 330. Crazy.

  42. if he has talent, its up to the coaches to get him to play. only bad coaching staffs will let his laziness or lack of effort be a problem. randy moss never had the same problems in new england that he was characterized as having in oakland or minnesota.

    that said, most of the teams picking in the top ten have bad coaching staffs, which is why they are picking in the top ten.

  43. There is no doubt about Clowney’s speed. He is a freakish athlete. It’s his judgment and maturity that is questioned. Does he take plays off? How will giving him a huge rookie contract affect his play. An incentive laden contract may be the way to go.

  44. And we had the second batch of O linemen going what? 4.64 at 307 or something silly like that?
    The league is speeding up, its not just this guy, where will be faster people to block him too.

  45. LOL at the so-called draft experts who become all doey eyed at combine numbers and ignore tape of ACTUAL play on the field… in pads.

  46. pick at em pick at em pick at em…my hope as a member of the bleeding green nation is that some how some way this manchild finds his way to philly

  47. At best the guy will be an average NFL pass rusher. He’s too stiff, too upright, and he doesn’t have any moves. He could get away with bullrushing on every play in college but NFL tackles are too strong for that.

  48. There might not be a bigger boom or bust player in the draft. However, those first five letters in his last name may be too close to the truth.

  49. Take his 40 time and a heart the size of a pea….and you’ve got just a slacker just looking for his first check…..After that….well let’s just say you won’t see The Clowney in the film room that’s for sure. Can he even diagram a defensive scheme? Heard someone say he plays like a blind rabid dog…sounds about right.

  50. ” 21 reps at 225lbs ”

    This is not a concern for a guy who is tall and lean like Clowney.
    Go to your local gym, you’ll find 20 guys who are 5’8″ and can do 30 reps, and none of them have any business playing defensive end any endurance sport.

  51. Speed just makes him an athlete.
    It’s the other things that he doesn’t show much of that make a football player.
    I’m honestly hoping the Raiders stay away from him.

  52. This guy looks like trouble. His work ethic should be questioned. He looks like a guy who just wants to get paid so he can start partying, buying news cars and pimped out homes and losing his millions faster than you can say Vince Young.

  53. Talent and Athleticism was never in question. That alone doesn’t make a player GREAT. You must have the heart and inner drive to want to be great. He’ll be in play at No.1 only bc the quarterback class leaves a lot to be desired.

  54. Once again (Manziel’s yesterday), the online media have over-hyped a player’s speed. The NFL has released Clowney’s official time … 4.53.

  55. Clowney better be Bruce Smith or at worst Michael Strahan otherwise he’s going to be labeled a bust. Speed is great but why didn’t he compete in other combine drills. He continues to be overly cautious before he gets that first NFL paycheck. Questionable.

  56. Not that we have a chance to get him but I think the seahawks would pass if we did(maybe). We like guys who have a dorito on their shoulder and work their butts off to prove they belong.

    Clowney has dominated his peers at every level and never really had to work hard for anything. His bench press reps prove he never really worked hard in the weight-room.

  57. Using bench press reps to evaluate talent is a sure sign that you are a mouth-breathing fool. By that logic, I’m sure you would never want Jared Allen on your team (16 reps at the combine). Ever hear of arm length?

  58. The Saints passed on LT for George Rogers.

    Houston cannot pass on a talent like Clowney ( unless there was a peyton manning, andrew luck type at 31 and there is not)

  59. It’s too bad he’s not a safety. Imagine the fear a wide receiver would have when he was closing in the same time as the ball arrived. He’d be faster than almost all safeties and would certainly make a bigger impact on the hit.

  60. Clowney wants the fame,fortune without putting in the work for it. Sounds like JaMarcus Russell on this day.

  61. I love how everyone talks about his work ethic. Yeah, he may take a play here or there off. I’m sure most players do….they just aren’t under the microscope like Clowney was this year. Watch some game film and see him fighting through double and triple teams nearly every play. Watch how teams had to scheme to run plays away from his side. The film will tell you he should be the #1 pick. I’m a Steelers fan, but if Houston drafts this kid, with him and Watt, that’s gonna be a nasty D.

  62. I would love for someone to please tell me what off the field issues you think this guy had??? I know you aren’t talking about speeding tickets. If you have gone your whole life and never had a speeding ticket then go ahead and keep talking, if not you have no room to talk. Besides that he has had no off the field issues. Also I find it comical that the same people that bash his character are the same individuals that think Johnny Football is so great. The same kid who treats nobody with respect. Do you not remember the entire offseason last year. It is perfectly acceptable to question the guys work ethic but you just make yourself sound ignorant when you talk about his character. It just shows how clueless you actually are.

  63. Also, if you actually followed the team you would have seen the double and triple teams he faced all year. The prior year they couldn’t scheme like that because of the threat (Taylor) they had on the other side. It’s funny how people read the last page of a book and think they read the entire thing.

  64. Not a single person can say anything good or bad until at least next year….maybe a few years after that.

    If you remember right….Adrian Peterson slipped a long way on the draft board because of his character and injury bugs coming out of Oklahoma after his junior season.

    I think he’s erased most of that stigma and at the same time, made a lot of teams that passed on him, second guess themselves since.

    For every Tony Mandarich and Ryan Leaf, there’s countless guys who have gone the other way to become super stars out of nothing.

    This guy’s ego and attitude will define everything right from the start….and I agree, he’s got himself an uphill climb just trying to prove himself.

  65. If this clown had a QUARTER of the motor and drive of Robert Mathis, he’d be an All-Pro. But hes a lazy slug and wont amount to anything. Please draft him Houston!!!

  66. Doesn’t matter how fast or athletic he is, if he is not motivated, then he would be out of the league in a few years. Drafting him would be a gamble. It may pay off or it may not. The Raiders would probably gamble on him if the top quarterbacks are gone when it is their turn to pick.

  67. I’m torn. As one of the three Texans fans in world would love to see the Watt / Clowney duo, but also love the idea of an air-it out offense with Manziel. It’s the difference between games in the teens with tough D and ball control / running game offense and something that’s fun to watch.

  68. The real question is that he bench pressed very badly. Even some receivers did better than he did.

    Considering he’s going to have to use his strength…if he isn’t that strong…his speed will only help him somewhat

  69. This kid has been under the microscope all last season and the biggest character issue people can come up with is a couple of speeding tickets.
    He played an entire season, in the SEC, being double/triple teamed consistently.
    Bottom line is he’s a very talented kid, but is just that…still a kid. And he probably had more teams game plan for him than any other single player in the NCAA.

  70. He is a freakin Beast! Houston should draft him . He has no weakness in his game, so people have to make up something so they say he is lazy! U craze the coaches have to tell slow down. JJ Watt n Clowney will be a nightmare for QBs. Go join Johnathan Joesph in Texan, RH on the map!

  71. I don’t play for South Carolina so I don’t know what his “work ethics” were or are. I can guess that they were reasonable if Spurrier didn’t boot him off the team. I am only speculating that he took a calculated risk. After seeing Latimore getting injured he probably decided to slack off this past year. You don’t go from being the most sought after defensive recruit and having a monster freshman year to a subpar season unless you were juicing or you decided to not risk injury.

  72. He really didn’t do that much last season (against college teams)… I don’t get all the hype. Really, the only thing I’ve ever seen him do is that one video of him blasting that RB behind the line 2 years ago. All this hype from one play? I’m sure he is very talented but the 1st overall pick?

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