Jadeveon Clowney Runs Official 4.53, Then Pulls Out


UPDATE: According to NFL Network’s Willie McGinest, Clowney will not participate in the remainder of on-field drills due to hip flexor issues.

Former University of South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney overcame a disappointing bench workout at the NFL Scouting Combine Sunday to post a blazing-fast 40-yard dash time.

Clowney, who measured in at 6-foot-5, 266 pounds, clocked an official 4.53 — a jaw-dropping number for someone of his stature, possibly solidifying his position as the No. 1 overall pick in May’s NFL Draft.

On Sunday, he put up just 21 reps on the bench press, a mark that 36 defensive linemen either matched or bettered this tear. With an arm length of 34 1/2  inches, however, he’s at a natural predisposition for the maneuver in which shorter, barrel-chested players tend to excel.

“He’s the scariest, freakiest, physical specimen that I’ve seen since I’ve been doing this, as a potential upside defensive lineman,” said NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock. “That doesn’t mean I’m saying he’s the best defensive lineman or the best player in the draft because he worries me with some of the red flags.”

Mayock’s biggest knock on Clowney has been his work ethic, something South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier echoed.

Clowney, who came into the combine eight pounds leaner than his college playing weight, responded to the criticism with, “I don’t really have nothing to say about it. That’s just his opinion…I believe I did work hard. You pull out any practice tape from last year, you’ll see that…I’m always going to be working hard, no matter where I end up.”