2017 NFL Draft

Jadeveon Clowney stars at packed South Carolina workout

Jadeveon Clowney stars at packed South Carolina workout

By Rob Rang | The Sports Xchange/CBSSports.com

More NFL offseason: Mock Drafts | Prospect Rankings | Pro days | Top free agents

If Jadeveon Clowney needed to answer any questions about his athletic ability during his Pro Day at South Carolina, he certainly did so.

Emphatically, in fact, according to a high-ranking NFL scout on hand for the workout.

"King Clowney proved again today that he's the best athlete in the draft," the scout said.

Clowney passed the first test immediately, weighing in at the same 266 pounds on Wednesday that he'd been at the Combine.

In front of a heavy contingent from the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars, as well as representatives from virtually every other club in the league, Clowney sparkled.

Clowney's workout was short on measured drills, though he did show remarkable explosiveness and balance in leaping seven bags during a test administered by Detroit Lions' defensive line coach Jim Washburn.

Clowney, as well as defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles and edge rusher Chaz Sutton invididually lined up in front of four horizontally-placed blocking bags. Each player was asked to leap flat-footed over them, land on both feet, take a few steps and then reach down to pick up tennis balls. Quarles and Sutton, each very athletic in their own right, weren't able to keep up with Clowney, who appeared to easily handle the pressure of extra bags being added after each successful leap.

According to the contingent of NFL Network announcers covering the Pro Day live, no one has ever successfully made the seven bag leap.

Clowney showed again why many call him the best athlete in the draft.
Jadeveon Clowney showed again why many call him the best athlete in the draft. (NFL Network)

While the seven bag is certain to become the stuff of legend regarding Clowney, there were other tests which illustrated why he should be the Texans' pick at No. 1 overall.

If selected by the Texans, Clowney will be asked by defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel to occasionally drop into coverage. This won't happen often -- he's too good at rushing the passer to waste his talents -- but it occurred even less frequently with the Gamecocks. As Will Brinson captured here, however, Clowney showed plenty of fluidity when asked to drop. Further, he showed impressive balance, flexibility and acceleration while running through the traditional circle drill.

Clowney's work ethic has often been questioned but he looked fit during these drills, prompting Mike Mayock, one of his loudest critics, to at one point exclaim, "I've seen enough."

Perhaps the man most important to Clowney's ultimate draft selection -- Texans' head coach Bill O'Brien -- acknowledged to the media that he's seen nothing from a work ethic standpoint that would keep his club from selecting the talented pass rusher and pairing him with former NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt.

Clowney has private meetings set up with the Jaguars, Rams and Falcons.

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