The cycle of hype and discuss surrounding South Carolina defensive finish Jadeveon Clowney — surefire all-pro one day, guaranteed bust a subsequent — hasn’t left neglected to former Southeastern Conference opposition Kony Ealy.
Clowney competence turn a No.1 collect in subsequent month’s NFL draft. But Ealy, a Missouri standout and a probable first-round collect himself, sum it’s usually a matter of time before he and others remind everybody Clowney isn’t a usually pass rusher available.
“I feel like I’m a best man in this draft, period,” Ealy told USA TODAY Sports on Tuesday. “And that’s not a cocky thing — that’s usually a certainty thing. It’s not usually talk. It’s been proven. My numbers uncover for it. My distance and speed and lively uncover for it. What else can we want?”
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If prolongation were all that mattered, not much. Playing in a same multiplication of a SEC final year, Ealy had 9½ sacks and Clowney, who had damaged out with 13 sacks in 2012, had 3 amid injuries and questions about his motivation.
On a flip side, one of Ealy’s teammates, Michael Sam, had 11½ sacks on a approach to earning SEC defensive actor of a year honors in 2013 — and he’s projected as a late-round pick. NFL teams demeanour during traits, not numbers, and as considerable as Ealy is athletically, Clowney’s on his possess planet.
“I feel like it’s not unequivocally a foe conflicting usually Jadeveon Clowney; it’s a foe conflicting ourselves,” Oregon State defensive finish Scott Crichton told USA TODAY Sports. “I’m perplexing to be a best in a whole league. That’s my motivation.”
Crichton played 3 years with a Beavers and had 22½ sacks. He also sum to be off a house before a second day ends, along with Clowney, Ealy, Notre Dame’s Stephon Tuitt, Auburn’s Dee Ford,
But usually one is removing round-the-clock pre-draft coverage this year. Ealy says he’s excellent with a courtesy being on Clowney, whom he pronounced he is “real cool” with and believes will do good as a pro.
“I usually wish he keeps his conduct straight,” Ealy said. “There’s no knocking him. But I’m a best defensive finish in this draft. we might not have a whole lot of hype, though we don’t (need) anybody to acknowledge me.”
Ealy maximized opportunities to uncover NFL teams their options, even after Clowney stopped conducting private workouts. Ealy pronounced Tuesday he has worked out for 7 teams and usually finished his fifth and final visit.
Crichton recently wrapped adult a five-day outing to Pittsburgh, Dallas, Denver and San Diego. He also worked out for a Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots and will revisit a Seattle Seahawks today.
“I usually can’t wait to be on a margin again and uncover them what I’ve got,” Crichton said. “All these other defensive ends are unusual players, don’t get me wrong. But we cruise I’m a many finish out of all of them.”
In a end, Clowney is roughly certain to be a initial pass rusher off a board, if not a initial actor overall. The Houston Texans’ preference on how to use their No.1 altogether collect might have reduction to do with how he fits into their invulnerability — expected as a pass rush-focused outward linebacker — than their comfort turn with a sum package.
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To Ealy, a fact that a usually questions about him are per his growth on a margin is one some-more reason to cruise him a draft’s best pass rusher. Doubt his uncertain ability? Ealy pronounced he snapped a steel restraint sled in half during a private workout.
“I’ve never had an injury, never had an off-the-field distraction,” Ealy said. “I unequivocally don’t compensate courtesy to a lot of what outward people say.
“The usually thing that matters is what a NFL coaches say, and afterwards everybody else — we’ll see what happens May 8.”
TEAM NEEDS: Replacing pass rushers a priority
Dallas Cowboys: They cut DeMarcus Ware and haven’t re-signed Anthony Spencer, who played in one diversion in 2013 before carrying microfracture knee surgery. A pass-rush participation is desperately needed, generally with defensive tackle Jason Hatcher left as well.
Atlanta Falcons: Newly sealed Tyson Jackson is a run stopper, not a pass rusher. Osi Umenyiora, 32, is no longer cut out to play each snap. They need somebody to beget some-more vigour off a edge. Ends sum for 11½ of their insignificant 29 sacks final season.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Cameron Heyward is an descending player, though Ziggy Hood bolted to a Jacksonville Jaguars, Al Woods sealed with a Tennessee Titans and 35-year-old Brett Keisel is a giveaway agent. The usually other ends on a register were undrafted a year ago: Brian Arnfelt and Nick Williams.
Houston Texans: Durable Antonio Smith left for a Oakland Raiders, withdrawal a blank conflicting J.J. Watt. Pass rush assistance sum to come from upgrades during outward linebacker, though they need another finish matched to Romeo Crennel’s two-gap scheme.
New York Giants: Losing Umenyiora and Justin Tuck (Oakland Raiders) in uninterrupted offseasons thinned a low pass-rushing group. They did pointer Robert Ayers, who had a career-high 5½ sacks final deteriorate for a Denver Broncos. But they could use some-more options to take feverishness off Jason Pierre-Paul.
Seattle Seahawks: Depth was scarcely as large a pivotal to a champs’ defensive prevalence in 2013 as talent. But Seattle couldn’t means to keep maestro ends Red Bryant and Chris Clemons, both income tip casualties this offseason, and Cliff Avril’s agreement expires after this season. On a and side, any accumulation of players work in a team’s intrigue — Avril and Clemons are corner rushers who are a bit undersized, while Bryant was a largest starting finish in a NFL.
Kansas City Chiefs: They could be in a marketplace for a five-technique such as Notre Dame’s Stephon Tuitt to take over for over Jackson on their three-man line. Beefing adult a revolution is a priority regardless.
CREAM OF THE CROP
(Note: Scouts spoke on condition of anonymity for rival reasons.)
Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina
Height: 6-6. Weight: 266.
Scouting report: Supremely gifted contestant who comes with questions about his engine and commitment. Sack sum forsaken from 13 in dermatitis 2012 deteriorate to 3 as a youth in 2013. Built for 4-3 right finish though could transition to 3-4 outward linebacker. Potential No. 1 altogether pick.
Insider’s take: “His jaunty ability’s off a charts. It’s something that we haven’t seen in a man who’s that size. What creates him singular is that he’s as large as he is and as liquid as he is. He’s a quick player. He’s an bomb player. Anything that we ask him to do entrance off a edge, he can be means to do it athletically.” — NFC scout
Projected round: First.
Stephon Tuitt, Notre Dame
Height: 6-5. Weight: 304.
Scouting report: Big-bodied, disruptive lineman who changed around in Notre Dame’s mixed scheme. Had 12 sacks in 2012 and 9 some-more as a youth in 2013 notwithstanding being hobbled early following sports hernia surgery. Can eat adult blockers on run downs and rush a passer inside.
Insider’s take: “Obviously, a 3-4 teams are going to adore him. He’s got to be one of a best guys in terms of being a five-tech that can anchor a defensive front since he is a 315-pounder that is jaunty and agile. The engine runs a small prohibited and cold on him. You positively can tell when it’s third down with him. But he’s a good player.” — NFC area scout
Projected round: First.
Kony Ealy, Missouri
Height: 6-4. Weight: 273.
Scouting report: Quick, sparkling corner rusher who needs serve growth conflicting a run and pass. Finished three-year college career with 14 sacks, including 9½ as a youth in 2013. Has room to get bigger and stronger. Could play a hybrid purpose as a five-technique and standup rusher.
Insider’s take: “He’s got all a jaunty ability that you’d like for a man that size. He’s not always consistently strong, and he’s not always consistently relentless. He doesn’t have a legitimate, go-to pass rush move. But we see all a traits to be a really, unequivocally plain actor in a NFL. He has good get-off. He can rush a passer. He’s usually tender since he’s young.” — NFC scout
Projected round: First-second.
Dee Ford, Auburn
Height: 6-2. Weight: 252.
Scouting report: Undersized pass rusher who might plan improved as a 3-4 outward linebacker. Battled a knee damage early final deteriorate though returned to post 10½ sacks, pulling sum to 20½ in tools of 5 seasons. Missed many of 2011 with behind injury. Held his possess conflicting SEC’s best.
Insider’s take: “Exceptional speed off a line of scrimmage. You doubt a small bit how he plays in a 4-3. (He could be) an open-side finish to come off a corner as a pass rusher. You’re usually endangered about a distance and a length to play conflicting a run. But really a really good pass rusher and he’s going to go (early), since those guys come during a premium.” — NFC scout
Projected round: Second.
Michael Sam, Missouri
Height: 6-2. Weight: 261.
Scouting report: Productive, high-energy actor who led a SEC with 11½ sacks as a senior. Athletically limited. Lacks bulk to play a run on a unchanging basement or fluidity to cover in space. Projects as a designated pass rusher in a NFL. Hopes to turn NFL’s initial plainly happy player.
Insider’s take: “He’s tight, he’s unbending and he’s short. He’s got a lot going conflicting him. But he’s got a partial that’s going to be tough for us to discount, and that’s his motor. You have to confirm on your roster, what does he do and how does he fit? He’s relentless, and players like that — they can make things occur usually with their will alone.” — NFC scout
Projected round: Fifth-seventh.
Contributing: Nate Davis
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