Is Jadeveon Clowney the Baltimore Ravens' missing piece?
Bob McGinn's series continues with a close look at the former No. 1 overall pick enjoying a career renaissance in Baltimore. He's still 'special' and a 'freak' on the D-Line.
This is the ninth part of Bob McGinn’s series examining an active player and his current situation vis a vis what it was entering the National Football League draft. The comments from personnel men were made in the months leading up to the draft for his annual NFL Draft Series, which dates to 1985. Scouting football prospects is an inexact science, especially when it comes to off-the-field factors. It has been said that no two evaluators view a player exactly the same way.
It was mid-August and, having played for four teams in the previous five years and without a home for 2023, Jadeveon Clowney’s star appeared to be at low ebb.
Then the Baltimore Ravens called with a job offer and, four months later, the first pick overall in the NFL draft of 2014 could be nearing the pinnacle of his up-and-down career.
The Ravens are 10-3 and potentially Super Bowl-bound having gained a significant contribution from Clowney, the best outside pass rusher for a defense that ranks second in fewest yards and points allowed.
Clowney has played both left and right end in the Ravens’ hybrid 3-4 defense from both two- and three-point stances. In 57% playing time he is second on the teams in sacks (7 ½), second in quarterback hits (17), tied for fourth in tackles for loss (seven) and seventh in tackles (33).
Bobby DePaul watches Clowney weekly on tape as a personnel consultant for SumerSports covering the AFC North and AFC South divisions. He also serves as football analyst for 105.7 The Fan in Baltimore.
“I’ve been watching his whole career,” said DePaul, an NFL executive in personnel (primarily for the Bears) and assistant coach for about 25 years. “I did him in college. Even though he got picked as high as he did, right now, today, he’s the most underrated pass rusher in the National Football League. There’s no question about it. Nobody really talks about the guy, right? But there’s some games where he completes dominates. Single-handedly, he uplifted the defense.”