Height: 6'5 1/3"
Weight: 266 lbs.
School: South Carolina
- 2X All-American (2012, 2013)
- 2012 SEC Defensive Player of the Year
- 2X First-team All-SEC (2012, 2013)
- Set school records for QB Sacks in a season (13) and TFLs in a season (23.5) in 2012
- 2013 Stats: 40 tackles, 3 sacks and 11.5 TFLs
- 40 yard dash - 4.53 seconds
- Bench Press - 21 reps
- Vertical Jump - 37.5"
- Broad Jump - 10'4"
- 3 Cone Drill - 7.27 seconds
- Arm length - 34 1/2"
- Hand size - 10"
- Strong and incredibly violent hands
- Understands moments in a game - cranks it up to invincible...when he wants
- Inside move is the best in the game - rarely is it blocked
- Full pass rush repertoire - except spin move
- Change of direction and redirection abilities are those of 5-10 point guard
- 6-6 with speed and power unlike anyone recently in the game
- Bumped inside to three technique last year to get all three DE on the field on 3rd down
- Explosive to and through ball carriers
- At 6-6, he's got to learn that he can't play over helmets, must play with better leverage, lower
- Because he understands moments in a game, there are times he throttles back when tired
- Can get knocked around on pass rush when uncovered linemen are looking him up
- When he swims to the outside against strong tackles, he can get lifted
- When tired, he tends to tippy toe off the snap, not burst
- Effort a major issue in 2013, does he have the requisite work ethic to succeed in NFL?
TSV videos provided by Draft Breakdown
0:31 Devastating inside move - set it up with outside edge rush on prior play
1:20 Standing too tall to throw his pass rush move
1:42 (Replay - better shot) Still too tall on his move, yet he still powers LT to get near QB
2:09 This is not human - the redirection on this zone read is phenomenal
2:48 Quickness whips tight end, hump move beats tackle - forces QB hurry
4:27 Burst off the ball, the inside move, the ability to get to QB in a few steps
6:23 Plays contain, forces ball inside, sheds TE to tackle RB after he bounces outside
TSV videos provided by Draft Breakdown
0:07 Inside move on first play - Lewan is defenseless
0:46 Bull and pull against Lewan, holding that wasn't called (check slow mo replay post play)
1:09 Gets lifted off ground, off balance after outside swim move
1:28 Backside pursuit - speed and effort combined
3:58 Burst inside and quickness off ball is so impressive
4:28 He gets kicked, kneed, face mask pulled and still finds a way to get on tackle on QB
5:18 Power rush knocks 315 pound man off his feet
6:54 Doesn't force the edge, he catches the block of FB at LOS
8:18 The Hit (go back and watch 6:37 - the replay of Smith going low on him - Revenge??)
9:44 Stays lower on swim move, replaces blocker, instead of getting ridden up field - TFL
Playing word association on Clowney is sort of fun. Explosive. Menacing. Freakish. But, to me, it's hands. Everyone remembers the Hit on Vinson Smith in last year's Outback Bowl. It's vicious and powerful and nasty and all those words used to describe a big hit. But, the one thing that stood out to me at that time was the fact that after he made the hit and caused the fumble, he reached over and palmed the football with one hand. Then going back and watching film on him, I realized that was the bat signal, alerting me that his hands were his best trait. He uses them as well as any college player I can remember. If he hasn't sped past you, he'll get his hands on you; as such he's so strong with them he can dictate what he wants like a marionette.
There's no comparison to Mario Williams at all, which a number of people have tried to make. Not in a million years. Body type and freakish athleticism, sure. But, Williams didn't come close to having the football skill that Clowney possesses. Yet, Clowney isn't flawless. At 6-6, he can still play a bit too high, allowing good tackles (i.e NFL types) to lift him or ride him right out of a play. He can take plays off and that'll be the one major question he'll have to answer throughout the draft process. Do you play hard all the time? Why were you taken off the field at key times in key games in 2013? Did you pull yourself off the field when you got tired in those the games?
The expectations are through the roof for Clowney and many thought that he didn't come close to living up to them in 2013. His statistical production was way down from his 2012 numbers but he still found ways to impact games. No player in the country was hit with as many blockers as Clowney was. Does that excuse his absence on the field in key situations as noted above? Not at all. But, to truly assess Clowney, please take a holistic view of what he's done throughout his entire career. Can't get past the effort/work ethic question? You won't be the only one. That said, the GM sitting there on Thursday night when it's his turn to select, once Clowney has fallen into his lap...that'll be one happy man.