After Jadeveon Clowney wowed onlookers with a "phenomenal" pro day workout Wednesday, the freakishly talented South Carolina pass rusher told assembled reporters he would make the Houston Texans "miserable" if they pass on him at No. 1 overall in the 2014 NFL Draft.
These things tend to go according to script. Pro days are set up to impress -- and ultimately carry less meaning than pre-draft interviews with teams.
It's no surprise that Clowney vowed to make teams pay for passing on his tantalizing talent. That move has been in the prospect handbook ever since Peyton Manning convinced Bill Polian he would come back to haunt the Colts franchise if they opted for Ryan Leaf in 1998.
Although the Houston Chronicle has consistently predicted the Texans will select a quarterback at the top of the draft, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Wednesday's edition of "NFL Total Access" that the team is trying to figure out how Clowney would fit in Romeo Crennel's 3-4 defense.
The Texans had Clowney work in space while testing his ability to drop in coverage Wednesday, per Rapoport. If they decide to bypass a quarterback, it will be because Clowney has them convinced he can play the same hybrid outside linebacker-defensive end role that former Patriots star Willie McGinest mastered en route to a trio of Lombardi trophies.
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New coach Bill O'Brien dismissed concerns about Clowney's work ethic Wednesday, emphasizing that it's "absolutely" a non-issue.
O'Brien's club isn't the only one putting the spotlight on Clowney.
According to Rapoport, Rams personnel descended upon Rock Hill, S.C. -- Clowney's hometown -- to do background work before the NFL Scouting Combine as due diligence in case the pass rusher falls to No. 2 in the draft.
When NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock polled NFL defensive coaches on Tuesday and Wednesday, the consensus was Clowney is the best player in the draft and "you better not pass on him." We still find it hard to believe two teams will do so in early May.