Let’s say for discussion purposes the Houston Texans continue to play poorly enough in the final three games and earn the No. 1 overall draft choice in the 2014 NFL Draft.
With that No. 1 draft choice, let’s predict they select South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. This is the question I’m asking today: Is Clowney a good fit with the franchise?
It is a question that needs to be asked due to the speculation over whether Clowney is ready for the NFL mentally, not physically.
This past week, Clowney showed a bit of his immaturity by getting a speeding ticket for driving his vehicle over 110 MPH.
I know he’s young, and we’ve all made mistakes in our early 20s, but driving over 100 MPH makes me wonder if he’s ready for the spotlight of the NFL.
The next time we see Clowney (6-6, 274 pounds) in game action will be on Wednesday, Jan. 1 when his South Carolina Gamecocks take on the Wisconsin Badgers in the Capital One Bowl on ABC at 1 p.m. EDT.
That game is going to be exciting for not only the football fan in me, but I want to see how Clowney plays in his final collegiate game, against a quality opponent, knowing he could be the potential No. 1 overall draft choice.
Greg A . Bedard wrote on The MMQB site about Clowney this week:
“There’s much to unearth about him, especially after an underwhelming final season: about his effort, his family and the hangers-on, and his maturity.”
Again, all fair questions when a player is a potential No.1 overall draft selection.
If we are looking at Clowney’s current season, a season where he recorded 36 tackles and three sacks, we can’t forget about the situation in October between him and head coach Steve Spurrier when Clowney sat out against Kentucky.
During that situation, Spurrier was “unhappy” with the “attitude” of the standout defensive end.
In an article by Graham Watson of Yahoo! Sports, Spurrier was quoted as saying:
“I will just say he told me he couldn’t play … If he wants to play, we will welcome him to come play for the team if he wants.”
That can’t and won’t happen in the NFL.
The speeding ticket, the “miscommunication” from earlier this season … it can all be “forgiven” or “forgotten” once he’s drafted, if he puts the work in needed to live up to his potential.
All of these questions can and most likely will be answered by the work Clowney puts into his NFL game.
Do I believe he can live up to his high potential? Yes.
My answer is “yes” because he’s not even 21 years old yet … he will mature.
I think he’d fit in fine in Houston because of the players that are currently on the roster who are captains, like J.J. Watt and Andre Johnson.
Being on the same defensive line as Watt, everyone knows there will be much discipline expected.
The leadership on the field for the Texans and whomever will be the next head coach could mold Clowney into the next “great” NFL player. I truly believe that can happen, but it all comes down to how much Clowney wants to have success in the NFL. Does he want to be “good” or “great?”