Clowney will prove irresistible early

Many teams drafting early need a QB, but No. 7 brings immediate impact

Updated: January 1, 2014, 8:00 PM ET
By Mel Kiper Jr. | ESPN Insider

Jadeveon Clowney would have been the No. 1 pick in the 2013 draft. That's not really a question. And while he's no lock to go No. 1 in the 2014 NFL draft, I wouldn't read too much into the questions of whether he was productive enough this season as the cause.

So what will teams get with Clowney, and where does he fit?

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

• Production and the draft: Dion Jordan had a total of 5.0 sacks in 2012, and went No. 3 in the draft. In fact, Miami traded up to get him and his pass-rushing potential. Ezekiel Ansah had 4.5 sacks in 2012 at BYU, and even as an older player, was drafted No. 5 overall by Detroit. A pick later, the Browns took Barkevious Mingo coming off a 4.5-sack season. It wasn't about stats, it was about traits. If you have the talent to be a great NFL pass-rusher you'll go high regardless of your impact on the box score. The NFL is a developmental league, too, and teams draft for talent first.


To read the rest of Mel Kiper's analysis on Jadeveon Clowney's draft stock and where he could end up, sign up for Insider today.

Mel Kiper Jr.

Football analyst