Browns: Jadeveon Clowney not typical QB hunter, still plenty valuable

Browns Jadeveon Clowney (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Browns Jadeveon Clowney (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) /

Jadeveon Clowney is coming back to Cleveland for another visit at Browns HQ, per multiple reports that inundated Twitter Sunday night.

I’ve been pretty critical of signing Clowney, basically because it seems like he’s still living off a sack he made when he was in college, staring for Steve Spurrier’s South Carolina Gamecocks. From there, he became the No. 1 pick in 2014, and has had just kind of an ok career.

Enter Pro Football Focus. You’d think the analytically oriented site would be extremely down on a player such as Clowney, but that’ just not the case.

1. PFF considers Clowney to be an excellent run defender, placing him in the 95th percentile.

2. Their pass rushing grading adds up to what the eye test shows us, with Clowney graded in the 75th percentile.

3. While we all want a Patrick Mahomes hunter to complement Myles Garrett, stopping the run can’t be ignored, either. Browns fans have seen plenty of running backs gash Cleveland’s defense in the expansion era.

4. The remaining defensive end choices to sign include WFT veteran Ryan Kerrigan and Colts rusher Justin Houston. San Fran’s Aldon Smith is intriguing, at least to me.

5. Alas, analytics rule the day in Berea, and the data is high Clowney because of his ability to win battles at the line of scrimmage and shut the run down game in its tracks.

6. Clowney left town the first time without a contract. He’s really not going to come back and leave without a deal, will he? The Browns were reported to pay him $12-$15 million last offseason. Clowney didn’t take it. The offer can’t be that high again, can it? Clowney’s stock is down after the 2020 season ended with knee surgery.

7. The Browns have north of $13 million in cap space, according to sportrac. They’re going to need $9 million to sign their draft picks. Talk about a big pay cut for Clowney. That said, there’s not much being reported about other teams knocking on his door.

8. Signing Clowney would all but guarantee the Browns ignore a pass rusher in the first round. That’s fine. All of these guys have good grades, but none are elite.

Signing Clowney and adding a corner or Christian Barmore in addition to the signings of John Johnson and Troy Hill would be a big win for the defense.

dark. Next. Counterpoint: Clowney not worth the pursuit

9. Signing Clowney isn’t the same as getting J.J. Watt, but with it’s something we’ll all be able to live with. Plus, it’s easier to feel better about the move with Takk McKinley on the roster, in addition to 2020 draft pick Curtis Weaver getting more reps in training camp. He was cut lose by Miami after suffering an injury.