If Jadeveon Clowney enjoys a better NFL career as a pass rusher than former No. 1 overall pick Mario Williams, NFL Films producer Greg Cosell won't be surprised.
Cosell said he likes Clowney over Williams on the Houston-based Proper Gentlemen of Sports radio show, high praise given Williams has amassed 76.5 career sacks over eight NFL seasons. Clowney hopes to be the No. 1 overall pick of the Houston Texans in the May 8-10 draft, just as Williams was in 2006. After recording a career-high 14 sacks in 2007, Williams' sack production declined steadily with the Texans, the low point being a five-sack season in 2011. He has enjoyed a resurgence with the Buffalo Bills, however, with 23.5 sacks over two seasons.
But while Clowney's potential is high, he has plenty to learn based on Cosell's evaluation.
"I think Clowney is a really, really talented kid. He's got size, he's got explosion, he's got quickness, he's got speed, he's got balance, he's got body control," Cosell said. "The only (negative) I would say about him at this point, and this can be taught, is he's more of a great athlete rushing the quarterback than a natural pass rusher with bend and flexibility. And there's a difference. ... He needs to learn how to use his hands. Almost every player coming into the NFL needs to learn how to use his hands."
If the Texans were to take Clowney, he and veteran J.J. Watt could potentially be among the league's most dominant pass-rushing tandems. Clowney told College Football 24/7 this week that, at 270 pounds, he expects to run a 40-yard dash of 4.46 to 4.48 at the NFL Scouting Combine later this month.
Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.