"If Clowney is available, the Rams should take him. You can never have too many pass rushers."
Ever since the 2013 Outback Bowl, the Jadeveon Clowney buzz was at a low row. When he declared for the draft after the Capital One Bowl in 2014, the roar got louder. Then he ran a 4.5 second, 40 yard-dash and the hype over Clowney became a deafening tug boat horn.
I refuse to listen to the hype. I refuse to drink the Kool-Aid. Clowney is not as good as people believe (or want him to be).
I could bring up stats, but that would fall on deaf ears still listening to a salivating ESPN anchor saying if your team needs a quarterback, or any non-defensive end position, they should still draft Clowney because "he's a physical freak."
Freak or not, the tape doesn't lie and that is one thing Clowney fans must not have watched.
Clowney's (in)famous, The Hit, in the Outback Bowl didn't bring much else.
Repeatedly, Clowney looked slow off the blocks when the ball was snapped and he routinely used a left-handed swim move that proved to be ineffective. He overshot the pocket and misread the quarterback-running back hand-off. There were times when Clowney gave up on the play because he made a mistake and seemed to not want to rebound.
I admit Clowney is a physical monster. But he only harnesses that strength when he wants to and he doesn't choose to often. For example...
Play: 1st & 10 on Mich. 28 yd-line. Fake hand-off to HB, passing play
On this play, Clowney had the opportunity to cut inside between the B gap (between the guard and tackle) because a large opening presented itself. Instead, Clowney engaged the tackle and got stood up long enough to take him completely out of the play.
Clowney can run incredibly fast for a man his size and has strength and quickness off the line, but he relies too much on his physical gifts than his technique. Almost every snap he played in the Outback Bowl saw him use the left-armed swim move and Michigan's left tackle blocked him almost every time. The only time I saw Clowney overpower the LT was this play...
Clowney bull-rushed the hell out of the LT. Yes, he was held and if not for the hold, he would have gotten the quarterback but the fact that this was one of the two times (The Hit) during the game I saw Clowney go all-out is a bit alarming. First-round picks shouldn't have their motors questioned and Clowney's motor has a big question mark over it.