WSU Football and the 2014 NFL Draft: Will Jadeveon Clowney Suffer Marquess Wilson’s Draft Day Plummet?


Apr 25, 2013; New York, NY, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell speaks before the 2013 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

With the first pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans select…

A few months ago the first overall pick in the draft was still up in the air and since then has been projected to be many different players including; Blake Bortles (QB – UCF), Johnny Manziel (QB – Texas A&M), Jadeveon Clowney (DE – South Carolina), Khalil Mack (DE/OLB – Buffalo), and Teddy Bridgewater (QB – Louisville) among others have all been rumored to be the number one overall pick this coming April.

I for one would not want to be the guy in charge of deciding who the Texans should draft. Do you pass up on a freak athlete that there might not ever be another one like? Or do you draft a much needed quarterback? The Texans traded off last years’ quarterback (for a majority of their games), Matt Schaub, and are in need of a quarterback for this next season.

The quarterbacks in this years’ draft are all capable of leading the struggling Texans team to the playoffs within the next few seasons, but do the Texans go that route or do they give J.J. Watt some company on the defensive side of the ball? Clowney, who is mostly known for his hit on Michigan running back Vincent Smith in the 2013 Outback Bowl and his size and speed, is a freak athlete and is the type of player that offenses will run and pass away from. Clowney lost a lot of his “hype” after a disappointing 2013 season. With his numbers down from previous years and a lot of speculation coming from him giving up on his team it brought a lot of attention to other players and helped them raise their draft stock.

Former Cougar Marquess Wilson dealt with some of the same speculation and issues that Clowney was/is going through this season. Although Wilson’s problems were nowhere near the level that Clowney’s is at there are a lot of similarities that could foreshadow the future for Clowney.

After the 2011 season and through the first half of the 2012 season Wilson was projected to be and early day 2 draft pick. That all changed when he left the team after the 9th game of the season due to personal issues with the coaching staff. His draft stock plummeted and basically was left off of everyone’s draft boards. The Chicago bears took a chance on Wilson and drafted him in the 7th round and used him minimally last season, only targeting him 3 times on the year.

Sliding to the 7th round won’t be the case for Clowney, but will his previous actions be a factor in the draft? There was a lot of talk about him bailing on his team and only playing for the money and many people wondered if that would transfer over to the NFL and if he was a risk to a team.

But who can blame him, the previous year he watched friend and teammate Marcus Lattimore wreck his knee and risk never playing football again. Lattimore took a huge hit to his draft stock and slipped to the 4th round after dislocating his right knee in the 2012 season. Most people don’t necessarily see it that way and some believe that Clowney still is not the best overall choice to take as the number one. This is a legitimate question.

If the Texans don’t take Clowney number one overall it likely won’t be because of their lack of trust in him as a player and teammate, it will be because the Texans understand that you can’t win a football game if you don’t have a quarterback you can trust. But perception for teams down the line could come into play. Still, if Clowney was actually out there for the money and the fame instead of the game wouldn’t that make him want to play extra hard in the NFL  to be able increase his value in future years? The Texans have a really big decision to make in the next few weeks and I am very glad that it is not me making that choice.

Both Wilson and Clowney have dealt with people criticizing their character and their attitudes but it will be a little bit different this year for Clowney than it was just a year ago with Wilson. Even though the Bears have used Wilson minimally it is looking up for him as many around the Bears’ camp are saying that he could become their third receiver in 2014. Clowney should go into the NFL and become a factor right away no matter where he goes in the draft.

Until that card is handed over with the name to be read off, it will be a constant debate and the hottest topic regarding the 2014 NFL Draft.