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Mayock: Jadeveon Clowney reminds me of Bruce Smith

Pro days are not make-or-break events for most top prospects. Sure, they can cause some players to slide a bit (sorry, Teddy Bridgewater), but for the most part they are all about confirming what's already on tape.

At Jadeveon Clowney's workout Wednesday, he not only confirmed he was the top player in the 2014 NFL Draft, he blew those in attendance away. NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock watched Clowney very closely and didn't hold back his praise after seeing him get put through the paces.

"As good or better an athlete than Mario Williams," Mayock said on "Path to the Draft." "Reminds me of Bruce Smith back in his heyday. As good a natural athlete that has ever played this position.

"From a god-given, natural physical ability (standpoint), he's got more than anybody that's ever played defensive end."

Mayock has been evaluating prospects for a long time, and that might be the highest praise he's heaped on a player. Smith is, after all, in the NFL Hall of Fame and one of the best ever to play the position. Williams was taken No. 1 overall and has developed into a very tough matchup for opposing lines.

Still, what Mayock saw on the field Wednesday erased any doubt about whether Clowney has what it takes to live up to his billing and be the first pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.

"Today's workout, he didn't do 40's or drills, just positional workouts," Mayock said. "There were five or six defensive line coaches from the NFL that worked him out, and he didn't know the drills in advance. He knocked everyone of them outside the park.

"He worked with two other defensive linemen who were both heavily winded by the end of it," Mayock said. "Clowney was fine. Great shape. Great athlete. Dominant performance."

Conditioning was one of the biggest things people wanted to see from Clowney on Wednesday, and as Mayock said, he delivered. While it remains possible the Texans will pass on him atop the draft, Clowney will nevertheless land with a coaching staff that will love to coach him.

Said Mayock: "After seeing all the tape and seeing him in person by watching his pro day and seeing him in person at the combine -- at the end of the day he's the most talented player in the entire draft."

Take note, Houston. You are on the clock.

Follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter @BryanDFischer.

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