One way or another, ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Jr. believes South Carolina defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney will be in the AFC South next season.
Kiper, an NFL Draft expert, held a conference call Thursday in which he said he expects Houston to select Clowney with the No. 1 overall pick or Jacksonville to do so with the third pick in the 2014 NFL Draft this May. Click here for the draft order for the first round.
“They’re both teams in the AFC South and both need to get heat on (Colts QB) Andrew Luck,” Kiper said. “He would have been the No. 1 pick obviously had he had the great year, which he did not have for a variety of reasons, which it would probably take us 20 minutes to get into that, but the fact that he was concerned about getting hurt, had that cheap shot against him in the North Carolina game, kind of all contributed to that, but he’s No. 1 on my big board, and a lot of pro teams still have him No. 1. I think he goes No. 1 to Houston or 3 to Jacksonville, or maybe if St. Louis wants to move out of 2, somebody may trade up to get him.”
St. Louis has the second pick via Washington from the previous trade that the Redskins made to pick Robert Griffin III in 2012.
The Scouting Combine will be later this month in Indianapolis, offering team executives, scouts and coaches an opportunity to interview and evaluate the invited participants and shape each team’s plans for the draft. Kiper said he expects the top offensive tackles to receive grades that could be higher than last year’s prospects, and he expects there to be a strong consensus on Clowney’s numbers, as well.
“Clowney is going to be a guy that everybody is going to have a high grade on, and in this league, you have to get after the quarterback and he can do it,” Kiper said.
As for potential pro quarterbacks he might be chasing, Kiper said it’s “too early to speculate on which quarterback is going to be the hot guy at quarterback because the combine and pro days are going to be critical to” (Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, Central Florida’s Blake Bortles and Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater).
Tags: 2014 NFL Draft, Tennessee Titans
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