Jadeveon Clowney (right) claims he ran a 4.43 40-yard dash during his senior year of high school. (Bill Frakes/SI)
Jadeveon Clowney is scheduled to hit the field at the NFL's scouting combine on Feb. 24. And he advises everyone to pay attention when he does.
The South Carolina junior will participate in every drill, according to Josh Kendall of The State. "The numbers I am going to put up are going to be amazing," Clowney said.
Clowney's speed and athleticism help set him apart from the other defensive players in this year's draft class. Way back in July, Clowney told reporters that he ran a 4.46 40-yard dash during South Carolina's summer workouts.
"I ran a 4.43 my senior year [of high school],” Clowney told the Post and Courier. "But I was 250 [pounds] then. I’m like 270 now."
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Anything in the 4.5 range would be mighty impressive -- Travardo Williams (4.57) and Barkevious Mingo (4.58) were the fastest of the DL group at last year's combine. There were 27 players who ran a 4.46 or faster during the 2013 event, all either from the wide receiver, running back or defensive back category.
The other combine events aside from the 40-yard dash: bench press, vertical jump, broad jump, three-cone drill and a pair of shuttle runs (20- and 60-yard). Clowney's statement that he'll blow folks away in Indianapolis next month implies that he expects to excel in several of those activities.
Of course, Clowney has never been called out for a lack of physical gifts. Just the opposite, in fact -- his critics during this past college football season wondered aloud repeatedly why he was not able to dominate games on a consistent basis, which led to questions about his effort level. Clowney still had a major impact when he was on the field, even if his personal stats do not necessarily back that up.
A standout showing at the combine might further quiet some of Clowney's detractors.