Is Jadeveon Clowney Tumbling?

February 24th, 2014

jadeveon clowney

For the better part of two years, it has been almost a sure bet that South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney was going to be the first defensive end picked in the 2014 draft. That theory seemed a lock since he blew past Michigan left tackle Taylor Lewan (one of the few times Clowney worked Lewan that sunny afternoon in Tampa at the Outback Bowl) and splashed Wolverines running back Vincent Smith, snapping his helmet into midair, jarring the ball loose. Clowney recovered it to seal a Gamecocks win.

For reasons unknown, Clowney did not duplicate that hit this past season; he did not play up to the hype for South Carolina. Sure, he was a marked ban, but in the SEC, even marked men separate themselves, such as Johnny Football, who had better numbers as a junior despite every defensive coordinator scheming to stop him.

Clowney’s season was so subpar (for his standards) his coach, Steve Spurrier, griped most of the season, hinting Clowney already was counting his NFL money.

Aside from his inability to read speed limit signs, Clowney has not had any major brushes with he law but it sure felt like at the NFL Scouting Combine this past weekend, his stock was slipping from potential No. 1 overall to perhaps being on the board when the Bucs pick at No. 7.

Woody Cummings of the Tampa Tribune was not the lone person to smell this scent when he Twittered out the following prediction.

@RCummingsTBO: I have one word for USC DE Jadeveon Clowney: tumble. As in, I get a feeling his draft stock is going to tumble after the combine

This past week, when given the chance to prop up Clowney, Spurrier shrugged his shoulders and called his work ethic “OK.” Joe learned when Clowney had his combine media session, his answers seemed so flippant early on, a longtime Steelers beat man walked away saying he had heard enough, that the Steelers would never draft a man like Clowney.

The most damning of all came from none other than the great Mike Mayock, NFL draft guru extraordinaire. He has repeatedly said he would draft Buffalo’s OLB/DE Khalil Mack with the first pick of the draft. Yesterday, in his end-of-combine wrap-up presser, Mayock had the following to say when pressed about Clowney.

“Look, he is an interesting deal. The average I think for a defensive lineman in the bench press was 24. So should Jadeveon Clowney have more than 24? Sure he should. However, he has long arms. And I always say to people it is the shorter, barrel-chested that rep-out the most. But does it go to work ethic? I really don’t care. And by the way, if he runs 4.42 or 4.62 [Monday] I really don’t care. I think I knew what he already is. He is the scariest, freakiest physical specimen I have seen since I have been doing this as a potential upside defensive lineman. However, that doesn’t mean I am saying he is the best defensive lineman in the draft or the best player in the draft because he worries me with some of the red flags.”

So Bucs fans (some of you), you may be getting your dream. It’s possible that a Clowney tumble could make him available for the Bucs.

Now the question is, could Lovie Smith motivate him to be the best he can be — better than Spurrier could? Or would Clowney be content with a signing bonus as a rookie, a waterfront home and trying to coast his way through an NFL career?

47 Responses to “Is Jadeveon Clowney Tumbling?”

  1. LJS4th Says:

    You have to work hard everyday to make it in the Not For Long league!! He might not have the kind of heart it takes to be great. Will Lovie feel he can motivate him to work hard everyday if he falls to the Bucs??? Let’s wait and see what happens!!!

  2. bUcNcrAzy Says:

    I’d rather have Watkins Mack or trade down…

  3. scotty Says:

    if he’s there at 7 jump on him! make him a buc!

  4. Patrick in VA Says:

    His success has been preordained for years. He’s just assumed that he could show up and be the best. If he has to sit there to get to #7 and the Bucs get him then not only would he have to answer to Lovie but he may, and I know it’s not a given but it could happen, develop a need to prove himself. Sort of like Randy Moss when he decided he was going to prove to those teams that passed him by or Aaron Rodgers when he fell in the draft. I don’t know the kid and he may be devoid of character and he may not handle adversity well but there is a hypothetical upside to him sliding

  5. Macabee Says:

    I’m no draft analyst, but tape doesn’t lie. Everybody is also going to remember what Mike Mayock said about Cam Newton. Then it’s in the interest of every team that wants him to talk him down before the draft.

    And there is always some DC that believes that he can re-light the flame because they’ve all seen the fire. I’m betting he will never get past Atlanta and they may even trade up for him.

    Just my opinion, but so much for pre-draft hype!

  6. Eric Says:

    Sapp only benched 17 reps. Same with Gerald if I recall.

    Could be Sapp 2.0 if he falls to us. I can’t fathom the Falcons not taking him though.

    All that being said, those comments by the old ball coach are not good. He must have really pissed Steve off for him to say that about his own player leading up to the draft.

  7. SuperGobaby Says:

    No prima donnas need apply.

  8. BFFL Says:

    I think he saw what happened to Lattimore and figured there’s no way he will bust his ass for free and jeopardize future earnings. Give the guy an incentive based contract and you’ll have no problems. Plus Lovie knows what buttons to push.

  9. Patrick in VA Says:

    @BFFL – solid point. Lattimore was supposed to be a big deal draft pick and his injury has made him irrelevant, if he’s even in the league (not sure). That has a big impact on someone when you see a guy in your locker room go through that and lose out on millions.

  10. biff barker Says:

    Kanye Clowney in da Love Boat!

  11. MTM Says:

    The Bucs won’t draft this Clown ey. Way to many work ethic issues to overcome. He is over hyped!

  12. Joe Says:

    Sapp only benched 17 reps. Same with Gerald if I recall.

    What was it Sapp said once, “You don’t pump weights on the 50-yard line?”

  13. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    Sapp had 16 reps then racked it. Just read it on PFT.

  14. Meh Says:

    Are you being paid by Manziel’s agent? Serious question. Because it is starting to read like a commerical around here, even in completely unrelated posts.

  15. BucsfaninChina Says:

    You’ll be hearing the name Lattimore this year as the niners lessen Gore’s carries.

    Teams are fools to let Clowney slip. No way he makes it to 7.

  16. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    If several players keep falling….maybe we should trade down and still have a shot at picking them up….but….I like Mack or Watkins at 7 if they are there…..

  17. Touchdown Gus Says:

    After watching film….Dee Ford is a monster and absolutely worth the 7th pick

  18. bucfanjeff Says:

    Didn’t Lovie say “you can’t have too many pass rushers”.
    So assuming Clowney is there at 7, the Bucs would pick him.
    That said, if Watkins is there too….I’d take Watkins.

  19. Meh Says:

    Dee Ford is not worth anything close to the 7th pick.

  20. nate_tweetz Says:

    Our Defense is NOT the main reason we lost so many games. No, they were not perfect, but they sure as hell weren’t as bad as our offense. I say use our high picks on offensive players that will make an immediate impact and provide play-making ability. O-lineman and WR are deep in this draft, but if I were the Bucs I would use our 1st and 2nd round picks on a stud O lineman and a play-maker WR. I really want Watkins, but I am starting to warm up to the idea of taking a beastly O-lineman in round 1 and grabbing a Benjamin, Bryant, Beckham, Lee type WR in the 2nd round. In my opinion, those are our 2 biggest needs. If the Defense plays a little bit better than last year and our offense can go from last in the league to at least the middle of the league, we will have a good chance to make it to the playoffs.

  21. Macabee Says:

    Gerald McCoy did 23 reps. For a frame of reference, if you were watching the combine yesterday, you saw 5-9, 209lb RB Jerrick McKinnon do 32 reps. Go figure!

  22. Snook Says:

    Everyone has talent in the NFL. Its the work ethic that separates the great ones.

    I’ll pass on Clowney.

  23. Chris Says:

    6’6 266 4.4-4.5 forty. Minimal work ethic but explosive athlete that has high bust potential. Primed pik in Oakland.

  24. Patrick in VA Says:

    If I remember correctly, I believe there were a lot of questions about Peppers’ work ethic as well. He seems to have worked out well for Lovie in Chicago

  25. Bucnjim Says:

    Do you know how many physical freaks the Bucs have drafted over the years only to realize that once they get that big payday they’re done? In order to play in the modern NFL you HAVE to love the game. The speed of the game and injury risk is much higher than it was 20 years ago. Even Sapp admitted he took way too much for granted once he became successful.

  26. Macabee Says:

    Anybody remember the pro bowl LB Vontaze Burfict from the Bengals? Be careful before you write someone off! You could be wrong, people change!

  27. Yar Says:

    If the Bucs let Atlanta get Clowney, they will regret it for the next 10yrs. twice a year.

    Get Clowney at all cost.

  28. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    The word I heard on a sports radio talk show, is that Clowney is sandbagging, to go to Atlanta.

  29. Celly Says:

    No way Clowney makes it to 7. Atlanta wouldn’t allow that to happen. If we want him, we’ll have to move to at least 5. AT LEAST.


    He’s stated that he would like it if Atlanta drafted him, but i don’t think he’s sandbagging, because if his Manager was smart, he would tell him that people can always trade up, lol.


    Clowney isn’t doing any of the field drills. Just the broad jump and vert.

    He’ll do them during his pro-day.

    smh. would’ve been nice to see.

  30. joseph mamma Says:

    If we draft another bust defensive end in the first round I’ll be beside myself. This GM is suppose to be a football guy, right? Hey if this GM is a football guy, according to the owner’s, what does that make the last GM?

  31. Orca Says:

    I am beginning to sniff bust potential based on some of the character concerns. I’ll take the hard-working, team-first above average achiever over the entitled athletic freak every day of the week.

    Beginning to be afraid that Clowney may drop to us and then we’d be confronted with having to take on this guy. Freakish athletic talent alone won’t get you anything in the NFL. This has been proven time and time again. How many times have the Bucs been burned by the boom/bust DE in their history?

    Hoping Mack is still there at 7, or if Clowney is available there that some other team wants to give up the farm to take him and maybe we can get some extra draft picks.

  32. Chris Says:

    Last gm was a cap wizard. But terrible talent evaluator that’s why he spent big in FA and overpaid for paper talent. Goldson , wright , nicks all busted but were stuck with their salaries. Jackson was his best move. He was a complete idiot making the Revis deal to be honest. 16 mm 1st and 3rd for a cb with a bum knee who didn’t fit what we did? He didn’t even play well this year.

  33. Clowney Says:

    I’m loving the combine and watching Clowney fall to the Bucs.

    He’s not too keen on jumping over obstacles where he might get injured foolishly but he does like to hunt QB’s.

    I think he ran the fastest 40 time for linemen.

  34. Left_Coast_Bucs_Fan Says:

    Other than the one hit last year that has gotten way too much hype, what has Clowney really done to set himself apart from the others, sit back this season and wait for the NFL draft? I was really hoping he would impress me at the combine question session, but instead acted pretty darn smug, like he was too cool for it all. Too bad, I was hoping, but I say Bucs pass on him.

  35. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    None of this really matters, because the Bucs have to address DE in free agency.

    Just play the numbers out. Simply put, DE is probably the easiest position to address in FA. QB and OL are the hardest.

    So it will have to be one of them.

  36. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    nate_tweetz Says
    “Our Defense is NOT the main reason we lost so many games.”

    Goldson. His stupid penalties cost us several games because they provided opportunities to opponents.

  37. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    SuperGobaby Says
    “No prima donnas need apply.”

    If that were the case, Tampa would never have gotten a Superbowl. Sapp was all attitude. Keyshawn was total prima donna.

  38. Orca Says:


    Some players are so full of their own attitude that their play suffers. That was *not* the case with Sapp or Keyshawn. The concern with Clowney is that it might be, based on his play this past year and reports of not having the best work ethic. Those are the concerns that keep you up at night when you consider drafting a guy like this with such a high first round pick.

  39. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    “Is Jadeveon Clowney Tumbling?”

    Yes…he’s tumbling right into the arms of the Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars or Atlanta Falcons.

  40. phil Says:

    He won’t make in past Atlanta at 6

  41. Architek Says:

    Defensive Jamarcus Russell of this generation!

  42. Architek Says:

    He can tumble and it doesn’t matter because as it stands his inconsistent play will be exposed – the tape doesn’t lie.

  43. Martinii Says:

    Why does this guy remind me of Gaines Adams and Daquan Bowers?

  44. Mumbles Says:

    Yoda would say Clowney is slipping not!

  45. MadMax Says:

    Im on record here last year saying I would pass on him….even in the 7-15 area. Gamecocks are my team and I saw him getting gassed too easily.

    And btw, Lewan wasnt assigned to block him on that play, it was a TE and the TE blew it. Watch the other plays of the game where Lewan was handling him pretty good 1 vs. 1.

    I hope we get Mack or go for an OT like Lewan or Matthews.

  46. Rob Says:

    The best possible outcome for this draft is if Clowney was available at 7.

    But it’s not going to happen. There’s no way he makes it past Atlanta.

  47. Capt. Tim Says:

    He may turn out to be Albert haynesworth
    Questionable work ethic and dedication.
    One big contract- and he’s lost interest in football

    Not saying that is what will happen- but a real concern.
    He casually took games off this year. Once the inks dry, why wouldn’t he do the same in the Pros.

    He has amazing talent- but so have lots of others, who never tried to live up to their potential. Not saying we shouldn’t draft him- but I sure hope we are able to find out who he is, during the interviews

    Kinda shaky dedication so far