ESPN NFL draft analyst Todd McShay isn’t one of the growing number of critics who are questioning USC defensive end Jadeveon Clowney’s work ethic and effort level. Clowney’s number’s dipped significantly this season, but McShay attributes that to other factors.
“First, the expectations were unrealistic, but I thought the criticism was unfair,” McShay said on a conference call Thursday. “I thought he was playing hard, and, you know, there were some bad circumstances with the weather. I think he is the most schemed against defensive player that I have ever evaluated.”
When McShay is breaks down the tape on Clowney, he sees more frustration than apathy. ”
I do think as the season progressed he began to get frustrated. Frustrated with the way, probably how the media was handling, probably with how the impressions that were being given of him. Somewhat with his role, and somewhat with just not being able to go out and make big plays the way he had throughout his career going back through I’m sure high school and when he started the game. Because he was so schemed against and teams were eliminating him.”
Despite all of the hype and scrutiny surrounding Clowney, McShay expects him to end up being drafted at or near the same spot he was projected to go before the season.
“I think there is a little growing up as a football player he’s going to have to do. I understand there are red flags and concerns with him, but he is not a bad kid by any stretch of the imagination and I think a team that has some leadership and is comfortable with him would have no problem taking him somewhere in the top two or three picks and maybe even number one.”