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Jags coach Gus Bradley talks about Clowney's passion for the game

By Ryan Wilson | CBSSports.com

Jadeveon Clowney gets high marks from Gus Bradley. (USATSI)
Jadeveon Clowney gets high marks from Gus Bradley. (USATSI)

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The Jaguars are in the market for a franchise quarterback. They could also use help along the offensive and defensive lines, linebacker and wide receiver. In that sense, going 4-12 and having the No. 3 pick in next month's NFL Draft is more feature than bug.

(Before we go on, the most recent CBSSports.com mock draft has the Jags taking linebacker Khalil Mack, defensive end Jadeveon Clowney or quarterback Blake Bortles.)

On Tuesday, Jaguars coach Gus Bradley spoke about the usual top-of-the-first-round suspects. And while Bortles didn't get a name-check, Johnny Manziel did.

“You know me -- I love spirit," Bradley said during an appearance with CBS Sports Network's Adam Schein on SiriusXM's Mad Dog Sports Radio (via the Florida Times-Union). "We drafted guys last year like Ace Sanders and Denard Robinson and Johnathan Cyprien, guys who have a lot of energy and spirit. And when I went to see Johnny work out and watched his tape, he plays with that same sense of spirit and he showed it off at his Pro Day. To talk to him and visit with him one-on-one, he's very passionate about the game, very competitive and very unique.”

Bradley also talked about the more pressing issue: Is there a quarterback in this draft class worthy of a top-5 pick?

“That's what we're [examining] now. [General manager] Dave [Caldwell] and the scouts have taken a hard look at it and our coaches are extremely involved in it. We're still gathering a bunch of information and the evaluation is never over -- it will go up to draft day.”

That's coach speak for "I'm not tipping my hand but thanks for asking." (Tackle Luke Joeckel had no such reservations about his former college teammate.)

Last week, an anonymous NFL executive called Clowney, the possible first-overall pick, "spoiled" and "lazy." We just chalked it up to the annual pre-draft obfuscation that has become a staple this time of year. We mention this because Bradley spoke in glowing terms about Clowney.

“First of all, when he walks into the room, you take notice of who he is as a person but physically and his appearance, you don't see many guys built like him with that size, speed and agility," Bradley said. "To sit down and talk to him and find out his passion for the game and how good he wants to be, you're always looking for that guy who wants to be great. That comes through from him when you talk to him. He may need direction, but that's our job as a coaching staff. He's very hungry for that direction.”

So you're saying he's not spoiled and lazy. Got it.

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