The Houston Texans' choice for the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft isn't really a choice at all, according to South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier.
"I think you have to (draft Clowney)," Spurrier told the Dan Patrick Show when asked what he would do in the Texans' position. "If there was an Andrew Luck, if he was available, I think you'd have to consider a guy like him. But it seems like all the quarterbacks, everybody has their favorite quarterback. Who knows who is going to be the best? So maybe the sure pick would be Jadeveon."
"Sure" isn't a word often associated with Clowney as a draft investment -- just ask Warren Sapp -- given prevailing scouting questions about his work ethic. But Spurrier was quick to defend his former star, as was Gamecocks defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward in a separate interview earlier this week. Spurrier called Clowney the best pass rusher he's ever seen in college football, and believes he would have been the No. 1 overall pick even if he had sat out the 2013 season.
"He didn't have to play last year. Can you imagine being the No. 1 pick, whether you played or not? That was the position he was in," Spurrier said. "... Most players, to be the No. 1 pick, they have to have a super junior year or senior year ... and they vault themselves into that No. 1 position. He was already there. He had nowhere to go but down. So it was very unique."
Spurrier's point about the draft's top quarterbacks is certainly credible, as it remains unclear two weeks before the draft which quarterback will be the first picked, and how soon.
Clowney, by contrast, is regarded on a tier by himself among defensive ends.