Jadeveon Clowney will be expected to duplicate the gaudy statistics from his sophomore season at South Carolina at the NFL level. (Scott Cunningham/SI)
Former New York Giants star Lawrence Taylor was one of the most dominant defensive players in the history of the game, and many believe no defender since has been able to match Taylor's blend of natural talent and athleticism. This weekend's NFL draft marks the next phase of South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney's much-anticipated quest to pursue Taylor's level of dominance at the game's highest level.
Clowney has received some comparisons to Taylor, and while there is no telling whether he will end up being as successful in the NFL as the 1999 Hall of Famer, Clowney believes that he will be able to do some of the same things that Taylor did on the field, according to NJ.com.
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"I think I can do what he did – run around a lot of guys, make a lot of plays, even though you can't hit like they were hitting back then," Clowney said Wednesday at a pre-draft media availability in Manhattan. "I watched him do some hits and he was trying to kill people, take their heads off. You can't hit like that no more, so you have to do it the right way."
Clowney said he used to watch YouTube clips of Taylor to get fired up for games in college.
"He ran through them," Clowney said. "I'll be like, I'm going to go out here and run through somebody like LT."
Clowney is expected to be the No. 1 overall pick, and once he steps onto the practice field of whichever team drafts him, he will begin his quest to live up to the lofty expectations that have followed him since high school.
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