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Jadeveon Clowney declares for 2014 NFL Draft after Capital One Bowl

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

Jadeveon Clowney is coming to the NFL.
Jadeveon Clowney is coming to the NFL. (USATSI)

The worst-kept secret in the world is no longer a secret. Jadeveon Clowney is declaring himself eligible for the 2014 NFL Draft.

In an on-field interview following the Capital One Bowl (a 34-24 victory against Wisconsin for the Gamecocks), Clowney said, in rather hysterical fashion, that he's headed for the NFL.

"It's been great. We've put everything into this," Clowney said. "I'll miss everything about Carolina. I love it here."

Asked directly if he was declaring for the NFL Draft, Clowney said "yes sir" before smiling and walking off.

Clowney will be in a dogfight with Johnny Manziel to draw the most scrutiny of any NFL prospect this offseason.

The Gamecocks defensive lineman is about as talented a defensive prospect as they come. He's freakishly athletic and has legitimate 4.5 speed to go along with his massive 6-foot-5, 268-pound frame.

He's the No. 1 prospect on the NFLDraftScout.com big board and, in a vaccum, would be be the first player off the board. The Texans could pair him with J.J. Watt and watch AFC South quarterbacks shake in fear. But it's also possible Clowney could slip in the draft because of the need for a quarterback in Houston.

Both Rob Rang and Dane Brugler have the Rams selecting Clowney with the No. 2 overall pick in the draft. What a disaster for the Redskins, who traded away the pick.

Don't buy into the garbage talk about character concerns for Clowney, even though there will be plenty of it in the coming months. A pair of speeding tickets is a laughable concern. The idea that he took 2013 off is silly, too. It's hard to be uber-productive when you're double- and triple-teamed on every play.

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