ShareThis Page

Clowney physically gifted, but questions remain heading into NFL draft

| Sunday, May 4, 2014, 10:00 p.m.
Getty Images
South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney looks on during a game Sept. 14, 2013, in Columbia, S.C.

A year ago, Jadeveon Clowney was seen as the all-but-certain No. 1 pick following his 13-sack sophomore season at South Carolina.

But arguably the most gifted player in the 2014 draft class had a so-so junior season, and there are questions about his motivation and intangibles as the draft approaches.

Aaron Donald, on the other hand, is a case study in football perseverance — a testimony to his work ethic, drive and dedication.

The Penn Hills native wasn't projected to be one of college football's elite players before last season. But he won every possible award except the Heisman Trophy.

Donald wasn't expected to be a first-round draft pick after the season ended. But after an exceptional offseason, he is likely to become only the eighth Pitt defensive lineman drafted during the first round.

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. calls Clowney “the best defensive end (prospect) in 20 years.” But many in the NFL are waiting to see if the overachieving-to-date Donald or the underachieving-to-date Clowney has the best career.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.