The Future and Jadeveon Clowney

South Carolina College Football Jadeveon Clowney

The Future and Jadeveon Clowney


“King Kong ain’t got sh*t on Ja!”

-          2001 quote by Denzel Washington on the set of his movie Training Day, describing then 8 year old Jadeveon Clowney


At the NFL Combine this week, one man’s presence was obviously lacking: that of South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. As far as I know, Clowney has not yet been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. This is, perhaps, an oversight. If you ask any college football fan or pundit, Clowney’s induction is all but an inevitability. His actual first play as a pro, followed by his Hall of Fame caliber career, then waiting five years after his retirement; these are all just check points we have yet to arrive at.

Now I am no fancy, big city lawyer (audible gasps!). But it seems to me that some NFL team should go ahead and draft Jadeveon Clowney in the April 2013 draft. He is not yet eligible according to NFL guidelines pertaining to age and years removed from high school. However, what is the worst case scenario here? Say your favorite franchise uses their sixth round pick on the USC end and the NFL squashes it immediately, throwing out jargon and such. So you lose your sixth round pick; big deal.

Now what if your team drafts Clowney and makes a stake to his rights when he does become eligible, i.e. the NBA? They draft him knowing he can’t play until 2014 but want to save his draft rights with their 2013 pick. What’s the downside here? If he goes back to school and gets hurt, then the pick is wasted but, again, it seems worth the risk.

One top pick after another is being downgraded at the combine. The supposed best defensive tackle had a heart condition unearthed. The best offensive lineman has others breathing down his neck at his own position. No quarterback has deemed themselves worthy of top grades. And sure, wide receivers are running as fast as lightning this year but none of them are the all-around performer worthy of a high draft slot.

The clear, consensus best player in college football is Jadeveon Clowney. The facts that he was not invited to the combine workouts and is not eligible are mere roadblocks for one team securing his services either this year or down the line. Let’s just hope that, at some point during the draft, we hear Roger Goodell call his name. Even if he is forced to sit out a year, rumor has it he’s better than King Kong. And that seems like a talent worth stashing away.