Does Jadeveon Clowney have the 'fire' needed to excel at the next level? (Todd Rosenberg for SI)
Throughout the 2014 NFL draft season, two prospects have been receiving their fair share of the criticism. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has been slaughtered in the media and reportedly has watched his draft stock plummet, while Jadeveon Clowney continues to hear questions about his work ethic.
The latest person to join the party and pile on the criticism of Clowney is Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp, who questioned whether or not Clowney has the "fire" to do everything he will be asked to do at the next level.
“My grandfather taught me something a long time ago. He said ‘You will never get more money by doing less work,’” Sapp said, via the Houston Chronicle. “I look at Jadeveon Clowney’s [game] tape and I don’t see a guy that is playing the game with his hair on fire, making plays, running up and down the field sideline to sideline, doing all of the things.
“That’s the real issue with me: What else is he doing not waking up?. The next job you have is rushing the quarterback, young man, getting ready for the NFL. If you wake up every morning and you’re not ready, prepared to go out and do the things you have to be to be a [defensive] end, outside linebacker -- a pass-rushing specialist -- what else is there?”
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Despite all of the concerns, Clowney has been linked to the Houston Texans at No. 1 overall.
Clowney had some of the best film of any defensive prospect in the past decade during his sophomore season, but there is no denying that he took a step back as a junior. Whether or not that was because he was trying to preserve himself after watching his good friend Marcus Lattimore destroy his knee a year prior is what teams will have to figure out.
When it is all said and done, Clowney will likely end up being at least a top-three pick in this year's draft and have every opportunity to prove all of his doubters wrong.