The former #1 overall pick has had an injury-riddled first two seasons. But now he must start to produce.
After the disastrous 2013 season which ended with 14 straight losses, the Texans got the top pick in the 2014 draft and picked South Carolina standout Jadeveon Clowney. There was no quarterback worthy of being taken with the top pick, so the defensive end got the distinction after a standout career for the Gamecocks.
During his college career Clowney had shown why he was the #1 player coming out of high school. His freshman year he racked up eight sacks and his sophomore year was one for the ages. He racked up 14 sacks and everyone remembers this hit.
After that he was guaranteed to be the top player selected when he entered the draft, so he considered sitting his junior year. Well, he kinda did, as he only had three sacks his junior season.
More from Toro Times
- Houston Texans: Can Sean Payton really be the next head coach?
- Houston Texans Draft: Michael Mayer should be a no doubter at pick 12
- Houston Texans already telling fans the Davis Mills era is over
- Houston Texans have hand forced, waste no time in firing Lovie Smith
- Houston Texans: Pros and Cons of keeping Head Coach Lovie Smith
But things haven’t been quite as good in the NFL. He made a tackle in his debut against the Redskins, and then missed a number of games before seeing the field again at the Titans in late October. He played four games his rookie season and made seven tackles with no sacks.
Suddenly, the rumors that he didn’t love playing football began to resurface.
In 2015, things began to look up for Clowney. He played in 13 games, had 4.5 sacks and 40 tackles. He also made a difference in the run game with six run stuffs and he deflected six passes. Even though he wasn’t getting to the quarterback like he was at South Carolina, he was making a difference.
Now the time has come. He needs to put those aspects of his game together with what we know he can do rushing the passer and become an elite defensive player. He and Watt would be an unstoppable pass rushing duo and with Whitney Mercilus as a third rusher, offensive coordinators will have sleepless nights before playing the Texans.
Clowney needs to step up and make it happen.