2016 National Signing Day ended on Wednesday as it had the past six years - with the Alabama Crimson Tide at the top of the rankings. Well, that depends, a bit, on which recruiting service you're ultimately examining.
Back in 2011, there was no question as to who was the number one player in the nation.
His high school highlight tape was indescribable. The highlight tape showed him literally chasing, catching and tackling a running back 35-40 yards down the field. And, to think, Clowney was 6-6, 245 lbs. at the time. That tape made the rounds a couple of years before 'The Hit' made him a college legend at South Carolina. We all know what happened a year after that as Clowney was taken No. 1 in the 2014 NFL Draft by your Houston Texans.
Injuries have plagued Clowney since a promising 2014 preseason, but his impact is still being felt, especially in the AFC.
Charlie Campbell of Walterfootball.com, one of the most comprehensive draft sites on the interwebs, penned a final wrap-up article from the 2016 Senior Bowl. As he was in Mobile, he tracked down a few coaches from the AFC and asked about a few recent high round draft picks. Clowney's name was brought up by a number of the coaches at hand. Here's what the coaches told him.
*I thought it would be interesting to ask some opposing coaches their view on some of the recent draft picks and how they're looking in terms of development. A few AFC coaches said that Houston Texans edge defender Jadeveon Clowney is downright scary. They feel that if Clowney can stay healthy, he is going to be a nightmare and one of the best defenders in the league. They said the tapes he put together late in the season against the Patriots and Bills were incredible. *
Sources said that Clowney could be better than the Raiders' Khalil Mack, which is pretty incredible because those same sources said they believe that Mack will be a Hall of Famer. They said Mack is out of this world.
The proof is still in the pudding and, of course, in the production. On the Sunday after the season was over, Clowney noted that he was ready to wreck the league in 2016. There are some AFC coaches who could see that happening sooner than later.