Before the season began, the consensus was that Jadeveon Clowney was one of the top defensive prospects we had seen in a long time. Despite the presence of elite quarterbacks like Teddy Bridgewater, Tajh Boyd, and Brett Hundley, most believed that Clowney was a near certain #1 overall pick.
With his performance this season and his recent “injury,” that status is now being questioned.
“With every week that passes, we see more and more red flags,” said one NFC scout. Others are telling SI‘s Peter King the same thing.
Clowney, big, fast, and freakishly athletic, is a rare prospect physically, but his performance this season could only generously be described as underwhelming. He has failed to make a significant impact in any game he has played, blamed coaches for that fact, and made a decision at the last minute to sit out last game with a minor injury.
All of these issues have teams increasingly questioning Clowney’s drive and desire to play the game, a major negative when scouts are evaluating players.
In a league where teams are more and more cautious following numerous high profile busts, Clowney’s stock could plummet as the season wears on. While someone as talented as Clowney is unlikely to fall far, prospects like Teddy Bridgewater, Sammy Watkins, Taylor Lewan, Louis Nix, and Anthony Barr could push past Clowney for spots at the very top of the draft.