Jadeveon Clowney is on the Cleveland Browns, and that means the team has two No. 1 overall picks on its defensive line.
The Browns are apparently going to be creative in how they deploy the pair.
Clowney, who signed with the Browns this offseason on a one-year, $8 million deal, indicated that we may see him and Garrett on the same side of the line more than expected, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. Both players have been considered edge rushers throughout their careers, but Browns defensive coordinator Joe Woods is reportedly keen on the idea of them moonlighting on the same side of the line. That would push one of them to the inside.
To explain why he's up for the job, Clowney had some interesting things to say about a position group that will be trying to push him into the ground in a couple weeks:
“We love that matchup,” Clowney said. “We feel like they're the unathletic guys. That guard position, they're not real athletes down there. So they're just physical and maulers. But we try to get in there and create those matchups for certain guys, and hopefully we get some wins.
“You've got to think different [on the interior]. Everything happens very, very fast down there. Those guys are much bigger down there. So, yes, your whole mindset has got to change in how you attack the quarterback, how you attack the guys down there.”
That sound you just heard was 31 NFL offensive line coaches, possibly 32, smacking that quote on their bulletin board. Clowney somewhat concedes that what guards miss in foot speed they make up for in size and strength, but it's hard to see the Quenton Nelsons of the world taking that statement as anything other than a challenge.
Of course, if Clowney is grading other positions by how athletic they are in comparison to himself (6-foot-5, 266 pounds, 4.53 40-yard dash, 37.5-inch vertical jump) and Garrett (6-foot-4, 272 pounds, 4.64 40, 41-inch jump), not a ton of other players are going to get the "real athlete" grade. Both were the physical apexes of their respective drafts.
As for the Browns' defensive line plans, the idea might say more about the team's depth at defensive tackle than its star edge rushers' talents.
Clowney has posted a combined three sacks in 21 games over his last two seasons with the Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans, missing the end of last season with a knee injury. He is still well-regarded as a run defender though, and working alongside Garrett should ensure at least one of them only has to deal with one blocker.