NFL Draft Countdown: Falcons singing Clowney’s praises

April 29, 2014 

South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney

KIM KIM FOSTER-TOBIN — kkfoster@thestate.com

The Atlanta Falcons might or might not be able to trade up to get Jadeveon Clowney, but one thing is certain: To know him is to love him.

After spending time with Clowney last week, general manager Thomas Dimitroff and coach Mike Smith liked everything they saw and heard.

“He's a fun, upbeat player with a lot of passion for the game,” Dimitroff told ESPN.com. “He continues to impress us as an individual. There's no pretense with this kid.

“He's about football. He's passionate. He's a light-hearted guy with an element of levity that we all appreciated. He's 21 years old, man. He's still growing and still learning. It's fun to see how excited he is about the rest of his career in professional football.”

Said Smith: “I think that he's passionate about the game of football, and that's probably the most important thing when you're looking at a draft-eligible player. The tape is his DNA. But when you get a chance to sit down and talk with him, you know that he's passionate about playing the game.”

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