Clowney's Arrival Sure To Spark Conversation
By Emin Avakian
(Writer's note: Pretend all of this actually happened)
With less than a week remaining until the NFL Draft, the Colts' Andrew Luck, Titans' Jake Locker, and Jaguars' Justin Blackmon are having lunch together in New York City, discussing the potential of Jadeveon Clowney facing their respective teams twice this season.
Blackmon: We're surely drafting a quarterback, and if he doesn't beat out Chad Henne for the starting spot then we're in trouble. Either way, I'm mentally preparing myself for a subpar season. Neither dude is going to overcome the duo of Watt and Clowney.
Luck: Subpar season? You mean more subpar than 29 receptions in four games?
Blackmon: Eat me, golden boy.
Luck: Houston hasn't made a decision yet. Maybe they'll go with Johnny Football, and then we'll need to score 40 points on their defense to overcome that offense. You're right, though, Blackmon, get ready for another rebuilding year.
Locker: I'm kind of hoping our team drafts a quarterback and leaves me on the sideline in my final season at Tennessee. I'd rather take my chances on the market in 2015 than on the field against Clowney, Watt, Brian Cushing, Brooks Reed and company. All it takes is one hit in our two head-to-head meetings for me to become the latest Clowney highlight victim.
Luck: Are we even sure he's that good? Call me a skeptic, but I don't think he'd be receiving the same hype if not for that one hit that put him on the map.
Blackmon: Indy will be calling on your backup if he puts that same hit on you. Who carries the clipboard for you? Curtis Painter or something?
Luck: Let him prove he can get by an NFL team's offensive line first.
Locker: The kid had 13 sacks in 2012... the year he was a consensus All-American.
Luck: Right, and it was good for sixth in the Heisman voting. And he only had a total of 11 sacks in 2011 and 2013. Until I see him prove it in the big leagues, I'm not going to lose sleep over what the Texans may or may not do. How did we stay on this topic? We were talking about the nightlife in New York.
Blackmon: The draft is in four days, pretty boy. The defensive stud that most experts are labeling as a "can't miss" can very well be playing in our division for the next decade.
Luck: If you think Case Keenum is going to put up enough points to complement a Clowney-led defense then you're outside your mind.
Locker: It's easy to feel confident when you've got a formidable offense. Justin and I are going to be relying on the likes of Toby Gerhart and Dexter McCluster.
Blackmon: I should take offense to that statement, shouldn't I? But yeah, no formidable running and passing game in Jacksonville and Tennessee.
Luck: There's talk you'll land a Manziel, Blake Bortles or Teddy Bridgewater. Not to brag, but I'm exhibit A that a team's fortune changes with a solid rookie quarterback. And trust me, those guys' NFL careers are just as uncertain as Clowney's.
Locker: There's also talk that there will be a crop of good quarterbacks in later rounds. So, the Texans can snag Clowney first overall and solve their Case Keenum problem, as you call it, in the second round. Plus, they signed Ryan Fitzpatrick as a backup plan. Again, I'm content with holding the clipboard this season.
Blackmon: You better change your mindset. We all know that you're starting the season as the starter and they'll ease the new guy in.
Locker: Not if I stink up the joint in the preseason. Remember, they did decide to decline my option.
Luck: If I was in the Texans front office, I'd go with Manziel or Bortles--both safe bets, and have them lead that experienced offense. Are you telling me Arian Foster and Andre Johnson can't make a quarterback's life easier? I did OK with another veteran receiver, Reggie Wayne. Luckily...see what I did there?...none of us are going to be in that position and we can all focus on improving our games, except if your name is Jake Locker, of course.
Blackmon: I'm screwed.
Luck: We know. Back to the nightlife, do you guys recommend The Liberty or Lanter's Keep?