USC Pro Timing Day 2014, better known as “Clowney Day,” took place at Williams-Brice Stadium this morning. Every NFL team, sans the Browns and Titans, had somebody there to take a look at Clowney and, to a much lesser degree, the rest of his draft eligible Gamecock teammates that were participating in the drills. I am not going to sit here and tell you I have a clue about what exactly happens at these things. From my untrained eye it looks like a bunch of guys running around chasing cones, hoping over mats and grabbing tennis balls. I left the stadium with the same impression I’ve always had about Clowney; he is a freakishly talented football player and the best player in the upcoming draft.
It was the same old story at Williams-Brice today. People watched and raved about Clowney’s explosiveness and speed. ”How does a guy that big move like that?” was one of the many rhetorical questions I heard muttered by some of the 100 plus credentialed media there. The questions about is commitment and dedication to football that have been overblown by so-called experts like Mike Mayock disappear pretty fast when people see Clowney up close on a football field. Not sure how a supposedly out of shape and unmotivated 274 pound man-child trots out and runs 4.5 40. No, Clowney isn’t superman; he doesn’t make every single play. But he does make big plays and he makes ones that count. I don’t know if Clowney will go first next month because I don’t know what the Texans are thinking. Bill O’Brien was here today and told us Houston is still “wide open” on who it will take. If O”Brien wants to roll the dice and gamble that a guy like Johnny Manziel or Teddy Bridgewater is going to be a franchise quarterback, that’s his call. Those guys may be All-Pros, or they may be a Ryan Leaf redux. Quarterbacks are always a crap shoot. Clowney is not a crap shoot. So long as he’s healthy, he has the talent to sleep walk through a 10 year career that will land him in multiple Pro-Bowls. But, given the fact this guy is a lot more motivated than people think, I’d say there is a much better chance Clowney will be a Hall of Famer than an NFL bust. How many other guys in this draft can you say that about?
Is there anyone that can make a valid point why Clowney shouldn’t go first? I’m not talking about the mindless “He’s overrated/out of shape/doesn’t like football/doesn’t try” nonsense spewed by television hacks and fans of teams that Clowney didn’t play for. If someone has a legitimate reason why this guy can’t play at a high level in the NFL, I am all ears.
So, with that said, in my humble opinion, Houston should either draft Clowney first, or, trade the pick to a team that will (Atlanta) and load up on extra picks and take a gamble on a quarterback.
It’s a no-brainer.
Take a listen to Clowney making the same case below: