South Carolina Gamecocks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney has been long considered one of the best NFL prospects in college football, and with the scouting process getting ready to kick into full gear for draft season there have been plenty of concerns raised.
Clowney could very well be one of the first three players selected in the 2014 NFL Draft, but there are more and more red flags being raised and it appears that NFL scouts are growing increasingly uncomfortable with the baggage Clowney could bring.
From Dan Pompei’s latest column on Bleacher Report:
Every front-office man you talk to about Clowney will tell you that he’s not completely comfortable with Clowney and that he needs to do more homework on him.
It has been well documented that Clowney plays and practices only when he feels like it. Other red flags with Clowney, according to multiple front-office men, are his unusual family situation, his entourage, his inconsistent work ethic and the fact that he has worn out his welcome at South Carolina. Some suspect he is motivated strictly by money, and a big payday could leave him too satisfied.
Effort is one of the things that can turn NFL scouts off the quickest, so Clowney will have plenty of questions to answer as he sits down for interviews with teams around the league.
However, it is very possible that the reason Clowney has had such an inconsistent motor on the field is because he is trying to preserve himself and avoid a devastating injury like his teammate Marcus Lattimore suffered a year ago.
At this point, Clowney could only harm his draft status and not help it, so he wants to be healthy leading in to workouts.
Once he takes the field for the NFL Scouting Combine and blows away the NFL scouts, the concerns about his work ethic and his “entourage” could be easily overlooked.