Despite a tumultuous start in the NFL, Jadeveon Clowney has proven why he was worthy of the No. 1 overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft. Clowney moved to defensive end, emerging as one of the leaders on defense and among the best in the league in disrupting opposing quarterbacks.
"I believe that I think everybody knew what he was capable of from an athletic perspective," general manager and executive vice president Rick Smith said Thursday at the NFL Combine. "I mean, the guy is just gifted. I don't know that anybody doubted that. I think it was a function and a product of the fact that he was injured that he didn't produce the way we all anticipated that he could. I think what you saw this year was a function of his availability. He was healthy."
Named to his first Pro Bowl in 206, Clowney set single-season career highs in tackles (52), sacks (6.0), quarterback hits (17) in 14 starts. Clowney has more to prove heading into his fourth NFL season, wanting to build on his success and further improve his pass rush skills.
"He has still got a long way to go," Smith said. "I think he recognizes that, but I think his appetite is wet for it because he can see how good he can be. I think he can see how good our defense and our team can be with his production. He fit and he worked and he has worked to get himself in this position through a lot of injury and it was just good to see him have the production and success that he had."
OLB Jadeveon Clowney's career as a Texan and South Carolina Gamecock is profiled here in pictures.