Texans 'On The Clock': Jadeveon Clowney
Brandon Caldwell | 5/8/2014, 7:36 p.m.
After six months of waiting and anticipation, the Houston Texans finally ended all speculation of who they were taking with the first selection in the 2014 NFL Draft. General Manager Rick Smith made quite certain to go defense and as opposed to drafting quarterback and picking Johnny Manziel or Blake Bortles, they went defense and drafted South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.
Clowney, a physical beast was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year in 2012, registering 13.0 sacks as well as being touted as the #1 pick in the NFL Draft a year before his junior season. Of course, there's always the big hit he landed on Vincent Smith in the Gator Bowl against Michigan which kicked up the hype machine even more.
Read the rundown on Clowney via Texans.com
A bona fide star the moment he stepped on South Carolina's campus, defensive end Jadeveon Clowney has been called a once a generation talent by several draft evaluators. With a combination of freakish athleticism and NFL size, the Gamecock defensive end proved to be a force during his three years in Columbia.
After exploding on the scene as a freshman, Clowney's sophomore year remains one of the most impressive in SEC history. The Rock Hill native tallied 13 sacks and 23.5 tackles for loss. That season also provided one of the most memorable hits of all time, as Clowney nailed Michigan running back Vincent Smith in USC's Outback Bowl win. The video of that hit has eclipsed over five million views on YouTube and kick started Clowney's Heisman campaign for the upcoming season.
However, his production slipped his junior season, with the end registering only three sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss. Clowney did battle through gastroenteritis and bone spurs, but questions about his motor were reported in the media. Despite those lower numbers, Clowney is viewed by several publications as the draft's top prospect, residing number one on both Mel Kiper's 'Big Board' and the Scouts, Inc. rankings.