With the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans drafted Jadeveon Clowney, a defensive end from South Carolina. It’s not difficult to see why Houston fell in love with Clowney.
At 6’5 and 249 lbs, this guy is a mammoth. Houston even awarded him a hefty contract, covering four years and worth over $22 million guaranteed. He’s even got speed on his side; his 40 yard dash time was 4.53 seconds and the type of talent he displays doesn’t come around very often.
He’s drawn comparisons to the likes of Lawrence Taylor, the greatest linebacker and probably defensive player to ever play in the NFL. However, we can’t get ahead of ourselves here. Although dominant at the college level, Clowney has not played a snap on the big stage yet. This has led to questioning as to what his role will be throughout his pro career: Greatest of all time, pro-bowler, average, or role player?
Perhaps Clowney’s finest moment was his hit on running back Vincent Smith of Michigan in the Outback Bowl on January 1st, 2013. Clowney put Smith on a poster when stormed through the line and unearthed him almost directly after he received the handoff. Clowney also ripped the ball out of Smith’s hands on the play, forcing and recovering a fumble. This play put Clowney on the national map. From then on, everybody knew his name, and monitored his stats for the remainder of his sophomore season. Those stats were impressive to say the least. He finished with 54 total tackles, 23.5 tackles for a loss, 13 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles. His combination of size, speed, and power has the league excited for what’s to come.
Houston Texans pass rusher and first overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft, Jadeveon Clowney had sports hernia surgery. However, Clowney isn’t setting a time for when he will return, according to ESPN.com. Clowney said that he is planing to take it slowly. “The pain, the injury’s getting better every day, day by day, Just looking forward to getting healthy and looking forward to training camp,” the first overall pick said. Clowney also said how he didn’t want to play through a nagging injury all season, which is why he opted for surgery.
Earlier this week, Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien said first-round choice Jadeveon Clowney will be ready for training camp. Clowney himself, however, isn’t so sure.
According to Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle, Clowney wouldn’t say for certain if he’ll be ready to go for the beginning of training camp.
“It’s just one day at a time,” Clowney said.
This despite quotes from the coach himself stating that Clowney was “on track” to be ready for camp. Clowney also somewhat cleared up misconceptions about when the injury occurred, saying it came before the draft in May.
“When I got here, one of the issues was, when I got here,” Clowney said. “I just wanted to get it taken care of. I told (the Texans) there was a little pain.”
Training camp is an important time for a rookie, since the transition from defensive lineman to linebacker is one that takes some time to master.