The vertical jump might not appear on its face to be much of a tale-teller where NFL prospects are concerned, particularly for defensive ends like Clowney, whereas defensive backs and wide receivers might come off the ground as high as possible to "high point" lobbed passes. Still, NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah said the vertical is an indicator for explosiveness in assessing a poor vertical turned in by Missouri defensive end Michael Samon NFL AM last week.
Not that Clowney's athleticism needed any validation as far as NFL clubs are concerned. Explosiveness is his business.
Clowney's first-step quickness is what carried his big-play ability in three seasons at South Carolina, and to a large extent, it will help determine whether he can dominate offensive tackles as the NFL level, as well.