Two-time First-Team All-SEC. First Team All-American in 2012 when he finished sixth in Heisman voting and was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year. 2013: Played and started in 11 games. Second on team with 11.5 TFL. Ticketed two separate times for speeding (going 110 mph in a 70 and going 84 mph in a 55). Told coaches before the UK game that his ribs were too sore for him to play. Also missed the Coastal Carolina game with bone spurs in his right foot and has decided to not have surgery. 2012: First sophomore to win Hendricks Award (nation’s best DE). Finalist for Nagurski, Lombardi and Bednarik awards. Set school single-season record for sacks (13.0) and TFL (23.5). Played in and started 12 of 13 games. Did not play vs Wofford due to sprained foot. 2011: SEC Freshman of the Year. Second Team All-SEC. SEC All-Freshman team. Freshman All-American. Played in all 13 games with 1 start (opener vs. East Carolina). High School: Consensus No. 1 player in country. USA Today’s National Defensive Player of the Year. Mr. Football in South Carolina.
Looks every bit the part. Athletic marvel with raw explosive power and rare speed for his size. Is physically tough and will battle through injuries. Can collapse the corner with ease and rag-dolls blockers. Highly disruptive -- creates a lot of pressure and flushes production to his teammates. Can split the double team and closes in a hiccup. Plays with leverage and power in his hands -- converts speed into power and bulls blockers into the backfield. Disrupts a quarterback's vision with long arms and can bat down balls. Seldom leaves the field. Flashes playmaking ability and can produce athletic feats in a category with few others before him. Versatile -- lines up everywhere along the line and can win with strength, power, quickness and speed. Has the personality of a pleaser and does not like to disappoint coaches or teammates.
Is more thinly built in the lower body. Inconsistent technician. Has a tendency to play tall. Down-to-down effort lacks consistency. Lacks discipline on and off the field and has had to be managed closely since he arrived on campus. Needs to learn what it means to be a pro. Plays in spurts and is too much a of flash player -- does not consistently dominate like he could. Is still immature and finding his way -- too much of a follower.
Round 1 (top 10)
A physical specimen with a rare size-speed combination, Clowney was not as impactful as a junior while playing through injuries and being forced to deal with opposing offenses that fully accounted for him with extra chip protection. Was a 20-year-old junior affected by turnover on the defensive coaching staff. Could benefit tremendously from a stable positional coach and strong, veteran mentor on the defensive line who will hold him accountable, show him the way and serve as a fatherly figure. Is one of the most unique talents in the draft and could easily be a double-digit sack producer in the pros from either end. Is every bit worthy of the first overall pick -- will immediately upgrade a defensive line and improve the production of those around him.