INDIANAPOLIS – Jadeveon Clowney enters the 2014 NFL Draft having to prove his passion for the game of football.
Some draft experts have questioned the South Carolina defensive end's work ethic.
Clowney explained that he wants to be the No. 1 overall draft pick of the Houston Texans. So why is he more deserving than a quarterback?
"Defense wins championships," said Clowney, who totaled 47 tackles-for-loss and 24 sacks in three seasons in the ultra-competitive SEC.
The pass-rushing talent also believes his desire to succeed is being overlooked.
"I want to be one of the best, the greatest of all time," Clowney said. "The NFL is just the next level, stepping stone in my way. Coming out of high school, I said I wanted to be one of the best in college and I think I proved that. Going to the NFL, I want to be one of the best in the NFL, go down in history as one of the best, so I have another stepping stone in my way and hopefully take care of business and accomplish that in the NFL."
Clowney's work ethic will be discussed leading up to the draft. But one player who doesn't need any further examination is San Francisco 49ers second-year running back Marcus Lattimore.
Clowney co-signed Lattimore's well-known work habits.
"The guy is a hard worker," Clowney said of San Francisco's fourth-round draft pick in 2013. "This guy comes to work every day. He pushes himself and pushes the team. He's a competitive guy, he wants to be great just like everybody else playing this game.
"Marcus Lattimore is one of the great backs in South Carolina history and hopefully he'll show that in the NFL."
Clowney won't likely be teammates with Lattimore again. The talented edge rusher will surely be long gone when San Francisco makes the No. 30 overall selection.
Clowney, however, is ready to be an impact player wherever he goes in the NFL. Clowney believes he can play as a defensive end in a 4-3 scheme or play standing up as a 3-4 outside linebacker.
"I'm just trying to take care of my business, do what I gotta do to be drafted as high as possible," Clowney said.
As for the work ethic question that came up continually in his press conference, the South Carolina standout put it best by simply saying, "I think I played hard every game."