It’s a pretty big day tomorrow for South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.
Over 100 media, various NFL scouts and others will descend upon Williams-Brice Stadium for Clowney’s pro day, in which he’ll look to solidify, or improve on, his current standing–which looks like a top 3 standing in nearly all the major mocks.
Well, it’s actually not just Clowney’s pro day, but consider the other guys the undercards to the man who most people will be there to see.
Clowney’s got a little bit to prove after what some people saw as an underwhelming showing at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis last month, but it didn’t hurt his draft stock that much. And, of course, there’s his junior season, where he fell well short of his numbers a year ago, to take into consideration.
But were those two situations due to a lack of work ethic and not putting in the 100% needed to be successful? Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien doesn’t think so, according to USA Today.
“I dare you to find me a guy that plays 90 snaps like his life’s on the line every game,” O’Brien said at last week’s owners meetings. “But when the game’s on the line, Jadeveon plays hard. He’s an explosive player. He’s a productive player. He’s an instinctive player.
“So I think that’s kind of been blown out of proportion. But at the same time, we’ve got to make sure we get to know him and then keep getting to know him when we get there.”
The Texans have the #1 pick and are expected to pick a quarterback, possibly Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel or UCF’s Blake Bortles. (Of note: the Texans were supposed to pick offense in the 2006 NFL Draft with the #1 overall pick, but instead went defense and grabbed Mario Williams.)
Here’s a look at some of the other draft-eligible Gamecocks that will be out there tomorrow:
Connor Shaw, QB There are a lot of quarterbacks out there (Manziel, Bridgewater, McCarron, etc. notwithstanding) so Shaw may be lost in all of the attention paid to the other guys. He’ll definitely go late (projected to be a day two pick for sure) but it’s only because there are so many other talented QBs ahead of him, but a strong pro day showing might move him up a few slots. We’ll see.
Bruce Ellington, WR The two-sport athlete, who also suited up for the basketball team in Columbia, is being slated as a third-rounder. His lack of size and speed are some of the main knocks on him.
Kelcy Quarles, DT Projected to go in the third/fourth round, putting him at around the 12th DT off the board.
Victor Hampton, CB Had his best year with 51 tackles and three picks. Projected as a fourth/fifth round pick, with some saying he should have just stayed for his senior season.