When defensive end prospect Jadeveon Clowney announced he would no longer be performing pre-draft workouts there were some pundits and NFL personnel people who of course had a problem with this. And the round of speculation and innuendo as to whether Clowney was lazy began to resurface.
I addressed Jadeveon Clowney’s supposed laziness in a previous article, so I won’t delve to deeply into it again. But when you have a prospect like Clemson’s Brandon Thomas tearing an ACL while performing a pre-draft workout, should it come as that much of a surprise that the top prospects would cease the activity?
I mean, it makes perfect sense to me, and it has nothing to do with being lazy. If Jadeveon Clowney tore his ACL in pre-draft workout, would the team conducting it reimburse him the money he would lose out on after his draft stock drops due to the injury? I don’t think they would.
Maybe it’s just that these personnel execs and scouts have had so much control over the draft prospects for so long, that when a prospect takes control of the process for themselves, it rubs them the wrong way. So instead of logically understanding the perspective of the player, they lash out anonymously and call them lazy.
It’s possible that some of that criticism is just a team hoping to damage Clowney’s stock so that he’ll fall to them. But it’s also possible that it’s just plain arrogance. But Jadeveon Clowney is aware of his value, and knows he doesn’t have to jump through the hoops of pre-draft workouts in order to enhance what he brings to the table.
And he brings elite level athleticism the likes of which is rarely seen in the NFL draft. So if a GM is going to let something like ceasing pre-draft workouts convince him to not draft a talent like Jadeveon Clowney, then I say don’t draft him. But that GM should probably be prepared to be out of a job in a year or two.