Rare Versatile Athlete:
Ever since Jadeveon Clowney introduced himself to the country as one of the top high school prospects in the country, the one thing that has been extremely evident whenever he steps foot on any football field is his ability to be the most athletically gifted player out there more often than not.
The former Gamecock stands at 6’5 and usually plays around 255-270 pounds. As impressive as his measurable’s are, it is Clowney’s rare physical traits that simply can not be coached that set him apart from his contemporaries.
During the 2014 NFL combine, the eventual first pick in the draft posted the following test results, in which he finished in the 90th percentile (at his position) for every assessment he participated in:
4.53-second 40-yard dash (98th percentile)
1.56-second 10-yard split (93rd percentile)
37.5-inch vertical jump (90th percentile)
124-inch standing broad jump (91st percentile)
Clowney has a dynamic first step that makes him a challenge for blockers to keep pace with. He’s also arguably the twitchiest player in the league in the sense that he can consistently use his raw athleticism to beat the man in front of him. That combined with his length and power, enables him to power through gaps and make plays near the line of scrimmage that seemingly only he can make.
Clowney is also a versatile defender that can execute from numerous alignments within the front seven, which often allows him to wreck havoc on an offenses game plan due to their inability to predict where he will line up.
The star pass rusher has long arms, heavy hands, an extremely explosive burst and has improved his overall cognitive understanding and processing of the game which ultimately helps him take advantage of his natural physical gifts.
When Clowney has a genuine understanding of the defense — like he will in Tennessee having four years of experience with Vrabel in Houston — you’re able to give him the type of freedom in which he can take chances where the reward will far outweigh the risk.
Using his amazing quickness off the ball to shoot gaps or get around the corner, Clowney is able to disrupt an offense by taking calculated risks.
When he successfully pulls off one of these risks, trust me you’ll notice because it’s usually incredible. Even when he doesn’t guess correctly, which likely causes him to lose his leverage to the opposition, his elite athleticism can often save him from allowing a big play by being fast enough to recover before something drastic happens.
The superstar edge-rusher isn’t a perfect athlete, but he is a damn good football player combined with elite athleticism that could very well be what this team needs in order to take that next step.