Ever since Jadeveon Clowney turned Michigan running back Vincent Smith into mush at the Outback Bowl, the South Carolina defensive end has been widely assumed to be the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NFL draft.
Not so fast, my friend, according to one respected observer.
Yahoo! Sports’ Frank Schwab still loves Clowney, as pretty much everybody does, but he finds it hard to believe the quarterback-needy Jaguars would be able to pass on Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater if Jacksonville has the first pick. That’s not a knock on Clowney. It’s just the reality of the NFL, where a franchise quarterback is more valuable than a franchise pass-rusher.
“Bridgewater, a fantastic pocket passer, has 752 yards, nine touchdowns and one interception, with a 76.7 completion percentage,” Schwab writes. “Scoff at the competition, but his early-season work is just reinforcing what we knew already.”
The biggest winner in this whole deal could be the Oakland Raiders, who would have an easy decision to make at No. 2.
“Whoever gets the second pick might be relieved,” Schwab writes. “You can’t be second-guessed when you have the No. 2 pick in this draft. Just pick whoever doesn’t go first, and avoid the debate.”