NFL analyst criticizes six former SEC players, says they’re most controversial

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Critics abound at every level of football, and most of all, at football’s highest level – the NFL. The draftable players will get broken down and criticized to the nth degree.

The NFL Combine starts Saturday, and player interviews are one of the most important aspects, not just the physical evaluation. Teams get a feel for the person they will be drafting, not just the player who puts on the pads.

Related: SEC players with the most to prove at NFL Combine

NFL.com’s Nolan Nawrocki doesn’t just stop at the game tape; he also evaluates character and looks at the total package of what teams are getting. And he lists six SEC players – his list included a total of 10 – who are the most controversial in this year’s draft. Interestingly enough, two other players on his list of 10 include former SEC players who transferred to other schools: Isaiah Crowell (Georgia) and Jonathan Dowling (Florida).

Here are the six and here’s what he said about them:

Related: SEC’s top players at every position at the NFL Combine

Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M: Suspect intangibles
Not a leader by example or known to inspire by his words. Carries a sense of entitlement and prima-donna arrogance seeking out the bright lights of Hollywood. Is known to party too much and is drawn to all the trappings of the game. … Has defied the odds and proven to be a great college-system quarterback, but still must prove he is willing to work to be great.

Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina: Lack of discipline
Lacks discipline on and off the field and has had to be managed closely since he arrived on campus. Needs to learn what it means to be a pro. Plays in spurts and is too much of a flash player — does not consistently dominate like he could.

Jeremy Hill, RB, LSU: Troubled past
Character, maturity and stability must be investigated thoroughly — has two criminal incidents on his record and is on probation until July, 2015

Ronald Powell, OLB, Florida: Entitlement, Personality
Had his tires pumped since high school — entitlement was an issue as a young player and his personality could rub some people the wrong way. … Has developmental value as a stand-up rush linebacker, but must dedicate himself to the craft and realize he’s no longer the big man on campus.

Victor Hampton, CB, South Carolina: Troubled past
Character will require careful evaluation — has been troubled by a number of off-field issues dating back to high school, when he attended four different schools. Has had issues with anger management, emotional outbursts and team suspensions. Will be targeted for unsportsmanlike conduct penalties given tendency to talk and taunt.

Adrian Hubbard, OLB, Alabama: Entitlement
Has a quirky personality, inflated opinion of his ability and carries a sense of entitlement that could be difficult to manage and require a patient positional coach. … Has starter traits, but has yet to reach the impact level he thinks he makes.

My thoughts:

  • I’ll buy Jeremy Hill as a controversial player, because of his troubled past. To his credit, he stayed out of trouble this past season. Hill very well could be the first running back taken off the board.
  • Johnny Manziel recently said he is trying to shake the whole Johnny Football aura that kept the media buzzing his entire college career. Perhaps the analyst didn’t even watch the bowl game, or any other game for that matter. I saw nothing but a leader, and he inspired his teammates throughout the season – just ask them.
  • I think we all agree Jadeveon Clowney may have taken some plays off this past season, but is that controversial? Maybe teams will evaluate his game tape different, and clearly, when Clowney wants to play, he plays at an elite level. Steve Spurrier even recently said Clowney’s work ethic was ‘okay’.
  • Seems by the analyst’s ‘critical’ words of Victor Hampton that Hampton will fit right in the league – ‘tendency to talk and taunt’. That includes at least 75 percent of every corner in the NFL, including the best corner in the league.

Photo Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

COMMENTS

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  • I’m sure I’m just “Hatin” but does anyone think Johnny used the bowl game as a stage. He was overly animated…He played well…They played DUKE. Is he a competitor? yes. Talented? Hell yes. Is he liked by a lot of his teammates? I’m sure. But when a rich kid arrives on campus and parties with a “personal assistant” that has to create some sort of a disconnect as well. Not sure a bunch of NFL vets are gonna be that easy to win over. I didn’t see him being so vocal and animated on the sidelines when he was chunking the ball away in their losses(to every ranked team they played). The scouts have got to evaluate it all. And lets face it as fun as Johnny was to watch in College…most of the plays that made him famous wouldn’t happen at the pro level. People say Russel Wilson helped Manziel. The only thing they have in common is height. Wilson came in underrated, confident and humble and worked his way to a leadership role. He didn’t call out teams saying they will be sorry if they don’t draft him or predict a superbowl win before he even steps to the stage. You don’t think those NFL guys hear that? What do you think that big bad Seattle Defense would do to him? Talk about a big target. Wish him the best though. Been fun but looking forward to other stories in College Football. Let life after Johnny begin (Thank God).

    • Dook was ranked (450 yards of offense and 5 TD). And he was great against Bama (550 yards of offense by himself 5 TD) and Auburn (500 yards of offense 5 TD) but yeah i see what you are saying. so really he was bad against maybe 1 ranked opponent?

  • i am a very big Johnny Football fan, and i believe that Johnny’s best thing he has going for him is his intangibles

  • I’m really sick of everyone saying that Clowney is lazy. First, the kid faced double and triple teams all season. He had to constantly chase the ball as it ran away from him. Most people calling him out point out plays where the ball was ran away from him and he didn’t chase after it. But for every one of those plays there are two more where the ball was ran away from him and he DID chase after it. Give me a break!

    • Not sure anyone is calling him lazy, even the NFL analyst. He still had a big impact, even if the numbers didn’t reflect it.

      • Who knows in Clowney is lazy, the scouts will find that out for sure. Getting on the plane with JayZ right after the Cap One bowl and not staying with his team speaks volumes about the kid’s priorities though. Ealy will have a better NFL career than Clowney and is a better draft pick unless Clowney grows up a bit. Thought it was interesting that Michael Sam isn’t on the “controversial” list for the SEC in the draft. Granted, he’s a 3rd to 5th rounder.

  • Victor Hampton “talking and taunting”….hum. Being the casual NFL fan, I thought that was a requirement if you were manning a position in the defensive secondary in the NFL, because they all “talk and taunt” non-stop except on the plays they get beat really bad….

    • Remind me again.. what position was that guy that was screaming and yelling at Erin Andrews after the playoff game? And what position does he play?

  • Man, that blurb about Hubbard seems spot on.

    • Absolute crap. Hubbard is nothing like that. He comes from a great family and is an excellent student and athlete. He’s never been in any trouble with the Tide and I guess the only reason he’s on this crap list is because the author couldn’t find any other Tide players to rail against. Pretty pathetic to slander a kid like this for a piece of crap, pseudo sports article.