Last year, it was Geno Smith. The West Virginia product received one of the harshest scouting reports in the history of scouting reports, as everything – from his quarterback ability to his leadership to his intelligence – was questioned and drug through the mud.
This year, apparently, it’s Jadeveon Clowney. Not only have people questioned the work ethic of the South Carolina defensive end – considered by many the best defensive product in years (if not decades) – but an anonymous scout recently described Clowney as “spoiled” and “lazy.”
Scouts are supposed to provide an unbiased opinion, but doesn’t this seem a little over the top? Doesn’t it seem a little . . . personal?
“Every year we have, it feels like, one guy that gets nailed with what feels like a personal attack, and I guess it’s Jadeveon Clowney’s year – because that did feel over the line to me,”’ NFL Network and FOX college football analyst Charles Davis said on The Damon Amendolara Show. “There’s enough questions about his so-called work ethic (and) what happened last year – as we saw his sack numbers go from, what, 12-and-a-half down to three (and his) tackles for loss cut in half. That sort of thing. It all got started with the opener against North Carolina, where it looked like he gassed out early, didn’t play as hard as people expected him to play – all those things.”
Clowney finished with just three tackles and zero sacks in South Carolina’s 27-10 win North Carolina last August. Then he finished with just three tackles the following week – only this time, South Carolina lost to Georgia, 41-30.
Things spiraled from there.
Clowney had just two sacks through four games before sitting out against Kentucky with a mysterious rib injury. He returned to action the following week against Arkansas but went five straight games without a sack.
For a guy expected to threaten for the Heisman Trophy, Clowney – despite the constant double- and triple-teaming – had a pretty underwhelming season.
His combine was a mixed bag as well. Clowney, who is 6-6, 275, ran a blazing 4.53 in the 40-yard dash, but he also completed just 21 reps in the 225-pound bench press.
Still, Davis isn’t buying the scouting report.
“(To call him) lazy, entitled – so much was made about the criticism from Steve Spurrier during the season, and Steve Spurrier clarified what he felt about it,” Davis said. “This feels a little more personal than it does simply an evaluation of a player. It’s almost like they’re jealous of him for whatever reason.
“And again, this person may be exactly right that (Clowney) may not be a great player,” Davis continued. “But I have not heard the petty/entitled thing from too many places before.”