Draft notebook: Clowney eyes clues on NFL destination

jkendall@thestate.comMay 7, 2014 

Jadeveon Clowney in New York City.

JOSH KENDALL

— The draft rumors that were swirling the day before the draft have reached the players.

“We were just talking about that. I don’t have any control over the situation,” former South Carolina star Jadeveon Clowney said. “It’s not like college, where I get to pick where I want to go.”

The most persistent rumor is that the Atlanta Falcons are working to get into position to select Clowney.

“That’s what I have been hearing, but I don’t have any control over anything,” Clowney said. “I am just waiting to see what happens.”

The new rumor Wednesday involved the Buffalo Bills, home to former Gamecock and another Rock Hill native in Stephon Gilmore.

“Cold, cold, cold, cold. It’s going to be cold up there. That’s the first thing I said when I heard that,” Clowney said. “If they are up there, I hope they pick me No. 1. I have never talked to the Bills, at all. Maybe at the combine, I can’t remember. I hear a lot of teams do that though, don’t talk to you and still come and get you.”

Dynamic duo

Clowney clearly has given a lot of thought to being teamed with Houston defensive lineman J.J. Watt, and he was asked about it almost a dozen times Wednesday.

“I think I would help J.J. Watt a lot,” Clowney said. “They can’t send a lot of double teams with me in there because I feel I can get after the passer just as good as he can.”

Wait-and-see Watkins

Former Clemson star Sammy Watkins is expected to be a top 10 selection Thursday, but he was weary by Wednesday of predicting exactly where he will fall.

“I am done guessing,” Watkins said. “We will see tomorrow night.”

Watkins would be the second straight Tigers wide receiver taken in the first round, joining DeAndre Hopkins, who was selected No. 27 last year.

“Tomorrow is going to be a blessing,” Watkins said. “I don’t know how my emotions are going to be crazy. I might have a little butterflies, like gameday. I just want to soak up the process and enjoy it.”

The good old days

Clowney was asked Wednesday what he will miss most from college.

“The fans. Oh man, I love the Carolina fans,” he said. “That song comes on, them towels going, that’s the greatest feeling in the world. That’s one thing I am going to miss about college, being around the fans.”

‘This, that and the other’

Clowney broke out his Steve Spurrier impersonation for the media at Wednesday’s event.

“Hey guys,” he said in a high-pitched voice before stopping.

“No, I better leave my coach alone, he’s a good guy,” Clowney said. “I love my coach. He’s one of the greatest coaches. He took care of us while I was down there. He didn’t try to do too much beating us up. Listening to some of these other guys, they have been through a lot.”

Quotable

Clowney was asked to name his celebrity crush. After some deliberation and a few outside suggestions, he settled on singer Rihanna. “Rihanna, I’m coming girl,” he said.

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