Friday, April 11, 2014

Jadeveon Clowney to Lawrence Taylor comparison is 'ridiculous': Carl Banks

Jadeveon Clowney hasn't even stepped into an NFL locker room and already he is being compared to one of the league's all-time greats — Lawrence Taylor.

Though no fault of the pass-rushing South Carolina lineman, Clowney's size and freakish athletic abilities makes the comparison to the New York Giants legend inevitable — especially with all of the pre-draft hype leading up to Clowney being the potential No. 1 overall pick.

But one of L.T.'s longtime former teammates thinks all of the talk is just plain crazy.

Carl Banks, Taylor's former Giants teammate and fellow linebacker knows hyperbole doesn't equal a 13-season NFL career and has seen plenty "game-changers" come and go.

"No. 1, you're stepping over a lot of great defensive ends," Banks told ESPN’s Ashley Fox. "They should hope he's as good as a Richard Dent, Neil Smith, Bruce Smith or Charles Haley. If he can get to that level, he's a dominant player. But you want to jump over those players and say he's the next Lawrence Taylor? It's ridiculous. I just gave you four of the greatest defensive ends, and you don't want to put him in that category because he's already better than them?"

Besides, Clowney has zero career NFL sacks and some might suggest he is a prima donna who took almost an entire college season off while Taylor revolutionized the linebacker position and had 132.5 career sacks. And, according to Banks, L.T. never took a play or practice off.

"LT was the guy that would always set the tempo for practice, whether he hated every drill," said Banks, now an analyst on the Giants radio broadcast. "He would complain after the fact, but he would give 100 percent. ... He never took a play off, never wanted to take a play off and resented players who took plays off. He'd talk about you if you wouldn't finish."

The expectations for Clowney have almost reached almost unrealistic levels.

Taylor turned the game upside down when he came out of North Carolina in 1981. And while the comparisons to the Hall-of-Famer might be unfair to Clowney right now, they are already out there.

At least it's better than being compared to Vernon Gholston.

Only time will tell.

No comments:

Post a Comment