In this series of articles, I will be picking one position group each week from which I will be choosing four players to evaluate. There will be three that you’ve probably heard of, and one that you probably haven’t. I am not linking any of these players to the Chiefs. This is merely to introduce you all to the upcoming prospects. Please enjoy and I look forward to reading your comments.
Jadeveon Clowney – 6’6 272lbs – South Carolina
Clowney isn’t projected to go into a 3-4 system but it’s hard to make a defensive end prospects list and not want to include him. Jadeveon Clowney’s name has been on the tongue of analyst’s since he was the number one recruit in the nation coming out of highschool. He had South Carolina, Clemson, and Alabama vying for his talents but being from South Carolina, he decided to stay local. As a true freshman, Clowney received SEC Freshman of the Year honors and made the Second-Team All-SEC selection. He had 36 tackles, eight tackles for a loss and five forced fumbles. In 2012, against all odds with teams doubling and running away from him for the most part, he improved. He had 54 tackles, 23.5 tackles for a loss, three forced fumbles, two passes defended, 13 sacks, and was a contender for the Heisman. This year though, hasn’t lived up to expectations, at least to most talking heads. Personally, I don’t think that anything Clowney has done this year deserves a drop in his stock. He’s been double, even triple teamed at times and teams flat out refuse to run plays to his side. I think that effect alone can alter a game. So far this year, Clowney has racked up 28 tackles and one sack. Granted, those numbers could be better and I’d even go so far as to say they should be better but he should still be a top three pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. I can’t say for sure that he will be until the draft order is decided. For example, if the first three picks in the draft go to Jacksonville, Tampa Bay, and the New York Giants, I believe Clowney would then be a top 5 pick. Regardless of where he is drafted, the intangibles this kid has truly makes him one of the best defensive lineman to come out of the draft in the last ten years. This doesn’t mean that he will make an immediate impact in the NFL. He make take time to develop but if Tyson Jackson can be the number three overall pick, than using the 3rd overall pick on a player like Clowney can be justified. And I love Tyson Jackson, you can’t choose where you are drafted but I’m glad he’s here. Don’t take that the wrong way.