The old cliche goes, "where there's smoke, there's fire." I could try for a better saying but maybe I've got a bit of Clowney to me. Just shorter, less athletic and with much less going for me. There have been rumblings that Clowney can be a bit undedicated to football. He struggled with conditioning early in the season and many wondered if he was "playing it safe" to stay healthy for the draft.
Don Pompei of Bleacher Report reports similar, and more, information about the potential top draft pick.
It has been well documented that Clowney plays and practices only when he feels like it. Other red flags with Clowney, according to multiple front-office men, are his unusual family situation, his entourage, his inconsistent work ethic and the fact that he has worn out his welcome at South Carolina. Some suspect he is motivated strictly by money, and a big payday could leave him too satisfied.
Ouch. Sounds a bit like Albert Haynesworth. He can be the best player in the league but he just never had that motivation. Plenty of players can go hot and cold but this may be even worse. Or even imagine Ray Edwards with talent.
You don't want a lazy defensive lineman because you can only do so much with them. Frequently they disappear for long stretches of time, which is something you can't have with a top selection.
On the other hand, it wouldn't be surprising to see a few teams to leak this sort of information to make sure Clowney is available when they draft. Smokescreens and bad-mouthing go together during draft season like Adam Sandler movies and unending disappointment.
This should all play out in the coming months, as Thomas Dimitroff will talk to a number of coaches and assistants at South Carolina about Clowney. This is the time where coaches say he is a team player or a primadonna. Remember this picture from LSU a few years back?
I can't say whether or not this report is true but I can say I'm less confident Dimitroff selects Clowney if he has the chance.