Every NFL team should have more than enough information on Jadeveon Clowney at this point.
He played three seasons at South Carolina, where he went from being one of the most highly touted recruits in the last decade to a bonafide star at defensive end. He worked out at the scouting combine. He had a pro day.
If, after all that, you still needed a private workout to figure out if Clowney is any good, you're probably borderline incompetent as a front office. And Clowney was correct when he put an end to the dog and pony show, telling teams he was no longer holding private workouts for the draft, according to MMQB.com.
One NFL general manager "took exception" to this, according to MMQB.com.
“I’d want the guy who’s going to be coaching him to put him through some of our drills, and see how he responds," the unnamed GM told the site.
A lot of the pre-draft lead-up seems to be NFL teams exerting their control over prospects. They can make players jump through as many hoops as they want, because who wants to be the player to make a potential employer mad? Even though any NFL team has more information on Clowney than it could ever use, having an assistant "put him through some of our drills" is a way to make sure the player know who is boss. Or maybe for future scouting reasons, which don't benefit the player.
So teams are upset about it? Fine. Then don't draft Clowney. Pass on a player who, if you watch the film, is as impressive as any prospect in many years. Take the chance you're letting the next great defensive end slip by because your assistant couldn't "put him through some of our drills." That won't happen, obviously. It's ridiculous to think it would. Clowney and his camp finally saw through it. Good for him.
The wake-up call was Clemson offensive lineman Brandon Thomas, who blew out his ACL in a private workout with the New Orleans Saints. It was a freak injury in a non-contact drill, but Thomas has to wonder if it was necessary. What could he have done that would change a team's perception, which for the most part is set through watching film and adjusted on workouts? Would letting an assistant "put him through some of our drills" move him up a round? Of course not.
Clowney could have told teams in January he refused any private workouts, and he would have gone in the same spot he would have had he worked out privately for every team. And if any team passes on him because he doesn't work out for them privately, Clowney is probably better off anyway.
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