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NFL Draft

Does Jadeveon Clowney Have A New Trick Up His Sleeve?

  • The Draft Network
  • August 26, 2021
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There are few things guaranteed in life. Death, taxes, and a new fan base being excited over the acquisition of Jadeveon Clowney.

As Clowney prepares to make his regular-season debut for the third different team in three years on Sept. 12 against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, imaginations are starting to run wild in Cleveland, and not just among fans. Even Clowney is starting to think big.

During a media session a few weeks ago, Clowney made note of an intriguing idea he’s been harping upon as of late. The former No. 1 overall pick is thinking about what it would be like to kick inside and rush the passer from the interior considering the talent Cleveland possesses across their defensive line, paired with the fact that guards are typically less athletic than offensive tackles are.

“Myles and I, we love that matchup inside,” Clowney told Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. “We feel like they’re the unathletic guys. That guard position, they’re not real athletes down there. They’re just physical maulers. We try to get in there and create those matchups for certain guys and hopefully we can get some wins.”

In all honesty, it’s a fair point. Pairing Clowney with one of the best pass rushers in the league in Myles Garrett was obviously an exciting proposition for Cleveland. Instead of seeing them line up on opposite ends of one another, as they’re expected to largely do, the Browns’ coaching staff would be wise to explore the possibilities of kicking one of them inside and having them rush the passer next to one another on obvious passing downs.

Clowney’s best position to date has been on the strong side of the defensive line, but he’s been a moveable chess piece throughout his career. Clowney’s ability to make things happen while playing both inside and outside opens up a ton of possibilities when it comes to front multiplicity. If kicking Clowney and/or Garrett inside means a new addition like Takkarist McKinley (someone who has a lot to prove in his own right) can also get on the field on third-and-long, then that’s a defensive look worth exploring.

And honestly, Clowney needs to be thinking about these things. He’s coming off of the most disappointing season of his career, one that saw him healthy for only eight games and ended before he recorded a single sack. This is likely a do-or-die year for the future of Clowney’s pockets. He’s on yet another one-year deal in Cleveland, and we’d be shocked if a team was in a hurry to sign him in 2022 if he has another letdown year in 2021.

Let your imagination run wild, Jadeveon.

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