Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Clowney to visit Falcons next week
By Vaughn McClure
South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, considered the top prospect in this year’s NFL draft, is scheduled to visit the Atlanta Falcons next week, according to a league source.
Clowney said during his Pro Day that he was in the process of coordinating a meeting with the Falcons. His visit coincides with another appearance from a top prospect as Texas A&M offensive tackle Jake Matthews is scheduled to visit Atlanta next week as well.
Jadeveon Clowney shined during position drills at South Carolina's pro day workout.
Clowney has been touted as the No. 1 overall pick -- held by the Houston Texans -- by many draft experts. ESPN’s Todd McShay had this to say about Clowney in his latest mock draft:
"The Texans really need a QB, and (Blake) Bortles has the highest ceiling of any passer in this draft, but I just think it’s going to be too difficult for the Texans to pass on Clowney. He is the best player in this class and the most naturally talented defensive lineman I’ve ever evaluated, and guys like him simply don’t come around that often."
Bus Cook, Clowney’s agent, told USA Today that his client could go through one more abbreviated private workout prior to the May 8 draft.
It is unclear whether Clowney already had a private workout with the Falcons.
Cook also dismissed comments from anonymous NFL teams calling Clowney spoiled and lazy.
"We don't give any consideration to that," Cook told USA TODAY Sports. "None of that has bothered us. It doesn't bother Jadeveon. That's not something that's been asked of me by any of the teams that I've talked to. Just go watch the tape."
If the Falcons truly have an interest in Clowney, they likely would have to trade up for him. General manager Thomas Dimitroff said he is open to trading up or down. And during this year’s NFL combine, Clowney mentioned such a scenario involving the Falcons.
"I wish they could trade up for me," Clowney told ESPN.com, "but I hope I don’t fall to No. 6. I like Atlanta -- a lot. They’re pretty good. They’ve got some guys from South Carolina on the team, also. And it’s close to home."
The 6-foot-5-inch, 266-pound Clowney, a native of Rock Hill, S.C., solidified his standing as a top talent with a great performance at his pro day, where he showed the ability to drop into the coverage to go with blazing speed.
The Falcons sorely need help at pass-rusher after finishing tied for 29th in the league last season with just 32 sacks. Although the Falcons are preparing for more of a 3-4-base defensive scheme, the multiplicity they seek on defense would make Clowney a fit regardless.