COLUMBIA – Whether it is positive or negative, everyone appears to have an opinion on former South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.
After his performance at the Gamecocks Pro Day, most analysts were effusive in their praise of the Rock Hill native.
In the past two weeks, however, Clowney's work ethic again has come under fire.
ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper said today he has no worries about the 6-foot-5, 266-pound Clowney's motor or effort.
"That's just the way it is," Kiper said. "Everybody is going to have their opinions. The opinions can be positive or negative on Clowney just because of the circumstances he was in at South Carolina this year.
"I didn't see the lack of hustle. I didn't see the lack of effort. I saw a guy who played hard 90 percent of the time. The 10 percent he didn't, it was because he didn't chase a play to the other side of the field because he had to play four quarters with teams throwing the ball as much as teams throw the football in college these days."
Kiper calls Clowney a "once-in-every-20-year talent." He believes the odds are strong that Clowney will hear his name first at the NFL draft next month.
"To me, he is the No. 1 pick, whether it is to the Houston Texans or somebody else," Kiper said. "I don't see how you can take anybody over Clowney."