INDIANAPOLIS (92.3 The Fan) – The campaigns to be the No. 1 pick in the draft kicked off this week at the NFL Combine and on Saturday 2 more hopefuls announced their candidacy.
Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.
Both provide very appealing options for the Houston Texans come May.
“I feel that I’m the best quarterback in this draft,” Bridgewater said. I’m not just going to sit up here and say it. There’s obviously actions that have to back up these words, and I’m just confident in myself and my capability to be able to play this position. I’m just going to go out there and prove that I’m the best guy.”
Bridgewater, who completed nearly 71 percent of his passes this past season for the Cardinals, said that his accuracy makes him stand out among the rest. Because of the lack of chemistry with receivers, Bridgewater will forgo throwing at the Combine this week and he’s been adding weight following concerns from NFL scouts about his size.
Bridgewater is expected to go high in the draft but said that he has not met with the Browns, however if he ends up in Cleveland he’ll have no problem dealing with the weather.
“I played in cold weather at the University of Louisville,” Bridgewater said. “If it gets too cold, I’ll be able to put on a glove and throw with a glove, and I’ve had success doing that.”
Clowney is considered the top defensive end in the draft and a year ago was projected to go No. 1 but earlier this week South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier hinted that Clowney didn’t exactly possess a strong work ethic and was trying to avoid injury during his junior season with the Gamecocks.
Saturday Clowney responded.
“I believe I did work hard,” Clowney said. “You pull out any practice tape from last year, you’ll see that,” Clowney said. “That’s what I told them. I’ll tell everybody that. I will always be working hard. No matter where I end up I am going to work hard and give a team everything I’ve got.
“It wasn’t about that. I was out there trying to help my team win games. I wasn’t worried about draft stock or nothing. That will take care of itself. I was out there trying to make plays for my team no matter what it took.”
Quarterbacks typically are priorities for teams, so why should the Texans take him instead of a quarterback? Just look to what happened in New York earlier this month.
“The Super Bowl, defense won that game, shut them down, shut them out,” Clowney said. “It takes defense to win championships hands down. You had a great quarterback in Peyton Manning, hats off to him also, but defense wins the Super Bowl.”
Clowney hasn’t been mentioned as much of a possibility for the Browns because he’ll likely be off the board by the tme No. 4 comes around but head coach Mike Pettine sees no issue fitting him into their defensive front.
“We’re always looking to have explosive athletes,” Pettine said. “You need guys with size and explosion, and he certainly fits into that category.”
Looking For Good Hands – The Browns met twice with receiver Sammy Watkins this week but he isn’t the only receiver they have interest in.
Ball State receiver Willie Snead, who set school records for receptions (106), receiving yards (1,516) and touchdowns (15) last season, met with them on Friday.
“I talked to the Browns [Friday], they were really interested,” Snead said Saturday. “The meetings were really cool; the coaches gave me some questions to answer and I answered them confidently.”
Ohio State’s Corey “Philly” Brown has also interviewed with Cleveland this week and this receiver class has been called the deepest one in years, if not ever by many draft experts.
Jones-ing For LB Help – Florida State inside linebacker Christian Jones is a wanted man and has had a very busy week at the combine.
Jones, who is ranked among the top 5 linebackers available in this year’s draft met with the Browns this week along with the Dolphins, Saints and Bengals.
“Most teams that interviewed me asked me where I see myself as and I told them I’m confident to play any spot but I prefer to be an outside ‘backer, but if I get picked as an inside, I’m just as fine with that, too,” Jone said Saturday.
Blazing Speed – Auburn’s Greg Robinson Robinson stunned scouts Saturday with an incredible 4.92 run in the 40-yard dash. He had a 10-yard split of 1.68 seconds as well.
That’s no small feat for a 6-5, 332-pound offensive lineman.
Flashing Strength – Kent State running back Dri Archer said Friday he planned to break the Combine’s 40-yard dash record Sunday. On Saturday, the 173-pound back impressed on the bench press by doing 20 reps of 225.
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