Jadeveon Clowney's claim that he should be the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft isn't the first time NFL Media analyst and former scout Daniel Jeremiah has heard a prospect make that statement, but in this case, Jeremiah is buying it.
"In my opinion, Clowney should be the No. 1 overall pick because I think he's the best player in this draft. The need at quarterback can trump some of those things, but when you just look off the grade of what you see ... you're talking about somebody with rare size, length, explosiveness," Jeremiah said on "NFL AM." "People can ding him this year, because his production was a little down. But you look at the previous two years, a lot of production in the SEC. To me, he's the top football player in this draft."
Jeremiah didn't find Clowney's claim Thursday on "The Dan Patrick Show" to be boastful or even uncommon, recalling from his days as a Baltimore Ravens scout that running back Maurice Jones-Drew, then a draft prospect from UCLA, told the Ravens at the 2006 NFL Scouting Combine he believed himself to be not only the draft's top running back, but it's top overall player. Jones-Drew was eventually a second-round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
"You hear a lot of guys say they believe that," Jeremiah said.
What Clowney needs, however, is for the Houston Texans to believe it.
With the top pick in the draft, the Texans will weigh Clowney against a need at the quarterback position, and plenty of money is at stake. The top pick last year, Eric Fisher, received a four-year contract worth in excess of $22 million, almost $15 million of which was a signing bonus. Top quarterback prospects include Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M, Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville, and Blake Bortles of Central Florida. Jeremiah said he sees Manziel landing in Cleveland, which holds the No. 4 overall pick.
"I think he's probably going to end up being a top-five pick when it's all said and done. I look at where Cleveland is situated at No. 4, and they're desperate for a quarterback, I think that might be where he ends up," Jeremiah said.
Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.