The Anatomy of a Bust
There are many definitions for the word "bust".
One is "a sculptured, painted, drawn, or engraved representation of the upper part of the human figure." That makes me think of the 280 bust that sit in the Pro Football Hall of Fame located in Canton, Ohio. You also have the other kind of bust, the one that means failure.
In the NFL, Hall of Fame Bust and Draft Bust are completely opposites but share something in common. Most draft bust, prior to them entering the league, have shown skills and abilities that would forecast a future hall of famer. Then they actually get to the league and it's like WHAT HAPPENED?
After Jadeveon Clowny ran his first 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, twitter went crazy and rightfully so -- you don't see too many 6'5 266 pound defensive ends clocking 4.47 (unofficial time). Even though that is an excellent time, I wasn't that impressed.
While everyone was praising Clowney, I tweeted that I think he will be a bust. Now I wasn't just saying that to go against popular opinion, I really feel that way and felt that way before the combine. I don't want to see Clowney fail, I wish him all the success in the world, I'm just making an educated sports guess.
Coming out of high school, Clowney was the best player in the country, mainly because of his size and speed, and the world just knew he was going to be a beast and lead USC to the promise land. It did't really happen that way, 33-4 record while Clowney played for the Gamecocks but no SEC or National championships. Clowney also produced 24 sacks, 13 of them coming in his sophomore season that was capped off by the hit heard around the world. That great hit put Clowney draft stock so high, that people were even suggesting he sit out his junior season to prevent injury.
That is when my perception of Clowney began to change.
I still think he is a great athlete, the 40 time proves that but that does not mean he will be a great football player. The reasons why I think Clowney will be a bust is because he shows all the symptoms. He has the great size like Tony Mandarich (2nd overall pick in 1989), the experts darling child like Todd Marinovich (24th overall pick in 1991), and the hype of Brian Bosworth (#1 pick 1987 Supplemental draft).
I wasn't impressed with Clowney 40-time because at his position, 4.4 speed doesn't mean much. It shows that he is fast but how fast can you be when you never reach your full speed? He'll never run 40-yards down the field unless he is scoring or chasing down a potential TD. Yeah he might catch them, but you don't want your defensive end making tackles down field.
His junior season is also a factor in why I see this as hype. Clowney did't come back from his sophomore season as dominate as I expected him to be. I even picked him as a Heisman Candidate in the 2014 College Football preview, and in the first game of the season he looked out of shape. Then as the season went along, I still didn't see the dominance. I'm not one of those people that think he was supposed to get a sack every play, but I did expect one every game. I expected him to post a 15-19 sack season but he only sacked the QB 3 times. And for those that say he was double and triple teamed, it doesn't give him an excuse to give up on the play, which I have seen him do numerous times.
I don't have extensive film on Clowney, but I watched him enough on my HDTV every Saturday to support my claim. Double teams in college shouldn't stop the potential #1 pick.
All I'm doing is supporting my opinion. I don't wish failure on Clowney but I do think he will fail to live up to his hype. And if I'm wrong, you can come back to this and tell me I was wrong, I'll gladly agree with you.