Feb 24 2014, 7:27pm CST | by Poch de la Rosa
"In his four-day trek through the league's annual showcase of draft prospects, Clowney showed both breathtaking athletic potential and curious decision-making, multiple scouts and personnel executives told ESPN.com.
"It's all part of the pre-draft puzzle with Clowney, considered by many to be the most physically gifted player on the board.
"Clowney, whose work ethic was questioned by his own coach this past season and who raised eyebrows with a below-average performance in the bench press at the combine, still blistered the turf inside Lucas Oil Stadium and was clocked at 4.53 seconds in the 40-yard dash."
According to Josh Kendall of GoGamecocks.com, the 6'6", 266-lb. Clowney's time of 4.53 is "the fastest by a defensive lineman at this year's combine and a faster time than the average wide receiver ran at the event this year."
Clowney's second 40-yard dash clocked at 4.48 seconds -- an indication of his explosiveness, notes Yahoo! Sports' Frank Schwab. The same update also states the star defensive end from South Carolina could only muster 21 225-lb. bench presses, a number which his low for a defensive lilneman.
As for the rest of his combine events, Clowney's broad jump was measured at 124 inches while his vertical jump was 37.5 inches. Kendall points out the former ranked first among defensive linemen while the latter ranked second.
NFL analyst Mike Maycock says Clowney's showing at this year's 40-yard dash is more impressive than Chris Johnson's 4.24 set six years ago because Clowney is heavier by 75 pounds, per Kendall.
This prompted Maycock to label Clowney as "a freak."
Hall of Famer Warren Sapp, another NFL analyst, echoed Maycock's sentiment about Clowney being a unique physical specimen but questions his work ethic, per Kendall.
"It's frightening to see a man that big and that fast coming down this field. He is a freak. The thing I want to see him do is put his feet in the ground and come with a hunger and love for this game.
"The film is a shame. I'm ashamed to look at it. I had to push pause, get up and walk around the room and calm myself down. I'm like, 'Are you kidding me?' There's no way this kid is allowing this tape to be sent around the country.
"When you turn his tape on, you don't see that love for the game, that love of the hunt that you want to see from a defensive lineman, but the kid's a freak and boy is he athletic."
With this, Clowney told Legwold over the weekend he's hoping he be selected first overall in the 2014 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans. He said,"That's one of my goals here, to go No. 1. I came out of high school as the No. 1 player, so I want to come out of here as the No. 1 guy."
Legwold also says Clowney has been dealing with bone spurs in his right foot since his high school days. He will let whichever team drafts him decide if needs surgery or not.
Poch de la Rosa
Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.
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