For the Jacksonville Jaguars, this time of year has become routine in the last several seasons — watching the playoffs instead of playing. After a 4-12 regular season record, the Jaguars were handed the third pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. So unless they trade their selection, the Jaguars will have a chance to virtually look at everyone. Starting with South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney.
Clowney is considered the top defensive player in the country to be coming out of college this season. However after just 41 tackles and three sacks last season, some analysts are questioning Clowney’s drive.
ESPN.com’s Michael DiRocco held a chat with Jaguars’ fans answering several questions about the draft. When Clowney was brought up, this is what DiRocco had to say:
“There are certainly questions about Clowney’s drive, conditioning, and attitude, but part of that might have been our fault. The expectations the media placed on Clowney after last season were astronomical, and there was no way he was going to meet them. Remember, there were stories written that he should sit out the season to protect himself, because he would be the No. 1 pick in 2014. Does he take plays off? Yes. Does he need to work harder? Yes. But those are fixable issues — just look at what the Jaguars’ coaching staff did with Andre Branch. I don’t see Clowney being a bust. He’s just too talented.”
Will Clowney prove his critics wrong? DiRocco certainly thinks that he will. However, how likely would the Jaguars take Clowney if a Teddy Bridgewater is also on the market?
“Personally, I’d take Teddy Bridgewater, but I have a feeling the Jaguars would take Jadeveon Clowney in that scenario,” said DiRocco. “I believe Bridgewater is the most NFL-ready of the draftable quarterbacks and has the traits you want in an elite quarterback. If you have a chance to land an elite quarterback, you do it, because you can’t win a Super Bowl without one. Clowney is an elite player, too, and should develop into a player who records double-digit sacks every season for the foreseeable future provided he stays healthy. But to me, quarterback is the bigger need and Bridgewater would be my pick.”