Houston Texans edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney remains one of the more important and promising players on the Texans roster.
Jadeveon Clowney remains one of the most valuable and talented players on the roster despite the Houston Texans’ inability to work out a long term contract extension. Drafted as the first overall pick in 2014, Clowney suffered a few setbacks early in his career as he adjusted his body to the rigorous game in the NFL.
Despite being NFL ready in terms of athleticism and intelligence, a microfracture knee surgery threatened what seemed to be a promising career as a pass rusher. Clowney missed all but four games in his rookie season due to a torn meniscus suffered in the home season opener against the Washington Redskins.
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Since then he has only missed six games in the next four seasons, Clowney has been one of the most durable defenders in the Texans front seven and has missed fewer games than J.J. Watt. That is no knock on Watt who has been in the league three years longer and will go down as one of the best pass rushers the NFL has ever witnessed. However, Clowney has been more reliable than the general consensus believes.
The injury-prone label placed on Clowney was more due to fluky injuries than the fact that he can not withstand the physical toll that the game demands. Through 62 games in the NFL, Clowney has 205 tackles, 29 sacks, 11 pass deflections, four forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries, 64 tackles for loss, 67 quarterback hits, and two defensive touchdowns.
His impact on and off the box score has led him to be voted three times into the Pro Bowl which is two less than Aaron Donald and one short of Khalil Mack. Clowney has been productive despite being two years younger than both those players, and he has more room to grow and improve as an edge rusher. He ranks fourth in Texans franchise history with sacks and could be tied second if he manages to get 14 sacks in this upcoming season.
In the last two seasons, Clowney has 18.5 sacks through 31 games and has averaged at least nine sacks. Clowney will be playing on a one year deal with the Texans in 2019 but his improvements on the field are an encouraging sign for him to earn sizable contract when he hits free agency.