MOBILE, Ala. – Jadeveon Clowney was in town for Senior Bowl week, but not to play in Saturday’s all-star showcase. Can’t. The South Carolina defensive end is a junior.
He came to meet with NFL teams prior to the NFL scouting combine in February, where he plans to conduct a full workout. He also attended practice on Tuesday.
The Raiders have interest in Clowney, though that is no surprise. He's widely considered the best defender entering the NFL draft and a legitimate candidate to be the No. 1 overall selection.
The Raiders select at No. 5 overall and would therefore need some luck to have a chance to select a pass rusher determined to be the top pick.
The Raiders value face-to-face meetings more than many other aspects of the pre-draft process, and a chance to speak with Clowney early would be of great benefit. As of Wednesday afternoon it was uncertain if the Raiders had met with him yet, but Clowney planned meet with teams near the top of the draft. The Raiders personnel department will be in Mobile through Thursday.
The Raiders are in desperate need of an expert pass rusher whether they re-sign free agent end Lamarr Houston or not. Clowney is clearly the best available option, with the physical tools that scouts and draft analysts believe he’s a truly rare talent.
He had just three sacks his junior year, but put himself on the map with 13 as a sophomore. He’s listed at 6-foot-6, 274 pounds, with speed and agility rarely seen in a player his size.