Clowney: I Should Be the No 1 Draft Pick

Published on 7-Feb-2014 by Stacey Mickles

Football - NFL    NFL Daily Update

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Clowney: I Should Be the No 1 Draft Pick

Despite having what many consider an off year, South Carolina linebacker Jadeveon Clowney has no doubt where he deserves to be ranked this spring.

"I just think I should be the No 1 pick taken in the draft, overall. So we'll see how that goes," Clowney said Thursday on the Dan Patrick Show.

“Coming out of high school, I told myself I wanted to go into the draft and to be the [top] pick,” Clowney said. “I worked hard to get to this point in my life where I gave myself a great chance to go No 1 in the draft, and hopefully, I will get to be No 1. 

"I’m going to try to prove myself at the combine and hopefully just go up from there.”

Coming out of the 2012 season, Clowney seemed to be a lock as the No 1 pick and a Heisman candidate. 

But his antics on and off field had many NFL experts questioning whether or not Clowney will be mentally prepared for the NFL.

The South Carolina defensive end looked lethargic at times this season and even held himself out of a game, to the dismay of head coach Steve Spurrier. He's been ticketed twice for driving too fast -- actually, Bonneville-salt-flats fast -- a few weeks ago.

As a sophomore, Clowney had 13 sacks compared to only three as a junior. Yes, there's no doubt opponents designed blocking schemes to handle him, but that dropoff still pretty much sums up what kind of season he had overall.

He'll probably still go in the first round of the draft, even if he isn't the overall No 1. Much of that determination will be a result of the play in 2012 that put him on the map:

No one questions the kid's talent; obviously he has a lot of it, but what's being questioned is his heart and desire, which you can't coach. Clowney's former head coach Steve Spurrier can attest to that.