The 2014 NFL Draft combine kicked off on Saturday with offensive linemen, special teams and tight ends reporting. Sunday saw possibly the deepest receiver class in NFL Draft history participate in drills, alongside a pretty deep quarterback class with the likes of Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater and Blake Bortles, all who are trying to prove that they are the best option for the Houston Texans with the No. 1 overall pick.
Manziel and Bridgewater declined to throw on Sunday, saving their arms for their respective pro days. Bortles looked sharp, showing off his strong arm and NFL ready accuracy. Perhaps the most anticipated combine day took place today though, and that was for defensive linemen and linebackers. One player that everyone had their eye on was former South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.
Clowney is widely regarded as the top defensive player in the upcoming draft and to most experts, he is the No. 1 overall prospect. Clowney, who is an absolute athletic freak, measured in at 6-foot-5, 266 pounds and has a 10-inch hand size. He racked up 21 reps on the bench press, which isn’t all too impressive compared to the rest of the defensive linemen. As Todd McShay noted in a tweet however, bench press numbers can be deceiving. Robert Quinn managed to put up 22 reps last year and had a Pro Bowl season for the St. Louis Rams.
Where Clowney stands out from the rest of the defensive line prospects is his speed/strength combination. He ran an unofficial 4.47 40-yard dash time this morning, something that is unheard of for a player of his size.
The Texans currently hold the No. 1 pick in the upcoming draft and although they are in need of a quarterback, Clowney may just be too hard to pass up. The team’s owner Bob McNair said in an interview back in January (about Clowney), “He is a remarkable player. He’s one of these players that’s really a once-in-every-10-years kind of physical specimen that comes along.”
With his impressive combine, Clowney may be making his case to be the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming draft.