QOTD: Forget The Rules, Who Would You Pick #1 In The 2013 NFL Draft?

Ed The Sports Fan, Football — By on February 14, 2013 at 9:00 am

jadeveon clowney sawkerlina gamecocks

Go ahead and give me an honest answer right now. Who would you take if you were the Kansas City Chiefs sitting with the #1 pick in the upcoming 2013 NFL Draft? Do you even have a real clue? Many of us don’t, and I imagine many NFL general managers and scouts don’t have a clear-cut answer either. Mike Silver of Yahoo! Sports noted that phenom South Carolina Gamecocks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney could easily go #1 in this draft if the law was on his side. Silver suggests he should go on ahead and “lawyer up and try to barge his way into the NFL this spring.” Just like Clowney did versus Michigan in the Outback Bowl, those poor dreadlocked fellows.

He is a 6-foot-6, 256-pound athletic wonder who tracks opposing ball carriers like a laser dot and punishes them like a vindictive medicine ball. If Jadeveon Clowney were allowed to enter April’s NFL draft, rather than prepare for his junior season at South Carolina, the dripping-with-talent defensive end would likely go in the top three, and possibly the top one.

Yet Clowney, because of a nine-year-old decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, doesn’t have the option to cash in immediately on his potential. And the risk he’ll assume by playing another season for the Gamecocks has prompted some, including Charlotte Observer columnist Tom Sorensen, to suggest that Clowney sit out the 2013 season before going pro.

I have a better idea: Clowney, who turns 20 on Valentine’s Day, should lawyer up and try to barge his way into the NFL this spring – the same way he blasted into the Michigan backfield during last month’s Outback Bowl.

Which leads me to our question of the day …

What if those outdated rules were thrown out the window, who would the Kansas City Chiefs take #1 then? Who would be the #1 player on Mel Kiper’s and Todd McShay’s big boards? Would it still be Clowney? What about the Texas legend that is Aggies’ QB Johnny Manziel? Could Teddy Bridgewater challenge for the #1 pick? What about stud tailbacks like Alabama’s TJ Yeldon and Georgia’s Todd Gurley?

Let us know in the comments sections your thoughts on this. All I know is this, since the Jacksonville Jaguars have the #2 pick in this draft, I’d sure love to take Johnny Football … ah well.

Eddie Maisonet, III

Eddie Maisonet is an appreciator of the ultimate reality show that is sports.

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    7 Comments

  • JAG says:

    Good post. What if there was a rule that Zuckerman couldn’t start Facebook because he didn’t finish college? What if Bob Costas was told that he couldn’t start broadcasting because he had no college degree? The hypocrisy is mind boggling.

    The NFL is a crafty operation. The reason that lawyering up and barging in won’t work is that the NFL can easily delay the start of any lawsuit until after the draft and likely the start of the regular season. Clowney has no chance of playing NFL football in September. None

    Now a freshman like the kid who just won the Heisman would have a chance if he initiates a suit right now.

    Someday, this rule will fall just as it has in all other sports. It’s simply unlawful to arbitrarily prevent someone from seeking employment and attempting to make a living.

    Eventually, football and hoops will adopt a rule similar to what baseball does. You can come out for the pros after high school. But if you accept a college scholarship, then you are ineligible for the pros for two years. (I believe it’s three in baseball. Football will go for three. Basketball will be happy with two).

    • Joe Simmons says:

      I doubt football ever drops the three year moratorium on playing. They need a developmental league. It’s not even about the kids, its about the fact that the NFL can’t insure the players who wouldn’t fit this qualification. It would take insurance companies bringing rates down.

      There are only a handful of players in football who are really ready to go after a year or two of college. The real truth is guys like Clowney and Adrian Peterson would have been the exception. The NFL is a MAN’s league. You better look the part and most kids aren’t ready until they are around 21 years old.

      I hope you are right though and they get it through but there will be guys who will never see the light of day because the NFL doesn’t draft based on potential like the NBA does. They take the evidence in front of them and go with it

      • JAG says:

        You’re right, Joe. I don’t see the NFL three year rule going anywhere. All the recent buzz about injuries and concussions only reinforces their position. It’s not a place for teenagers.

        Remember, the NBA’s hand was only forced by the appearance of the ABA. The NFL has built itself to a point that it seems impossible to create a league that could rival it.

  • Not quite the same but Major Junior Hockey in Canada has an exceptional player clause. A 15 year old can apply for the draft only if the leagues agree that he can play at that level. Now this is awfully subjective, but something similar could work for the NFL.
    I’d take Clowney by the way.

  • So, we’re talking about Kansas City here, right?

    In 2011, the defense was actually pretty solid for a team that couldn’t do jack on offense. Then, despite the resurgence of Jamaal Charles in 2012, KC was hampered significantly by poor pass protection and even worse QB play. So, logically, you’d think that they should address both in this draft; rules be damned. The defense needs to not have to spend 30 minutes on the field every week. As good as Clowney looks, what does it mean if the other side of the ball can’t get out of its own way?

    With that said, when I think of Manziel, I think of a slightly more accurate… Eric Crouch. And we saw what happened with him when the Rams drafted the former Cornhusker. Certainly Manziel will improve on what was a fascinating season over the next two years, but I don’t care if they call Joe Montana back twenty years after his retirement, no QB is going to survive if the line can’t even perform at an average level. The 49ers did themselves a tremendous service in 2010 when they were able to garner two first-round picks that became Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati. They are 2/5 of what’s arguably the NFL’s best offensive line. Putting my GM hat on, I’m dangling this pick around to see how I can flip this into two high-round OLs.

    Of course, that’s not happening at all.

    Throwing the rules out the window, I get and probably would take Clowney, with the understanding that we’re picking pretty high for at least another season. If he’s as dynamic as believed, it’ll be like stashing him for a year as the plan on offense – now with Andy Reid – gets sorted out.

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