Without a doubt, 2016 is a huge year for Jadeveon Clowney, for obvious reasons previously discussed at length. Football Outsiders writer Cian Fahey has taken a detailed look at Clowney's work up to this point and compares him favorably to Khalil Mack on his personal site, Pre-Snap Reads.
It's an interesting comparison, considering there was some (very little, but some) debate among Houston Texans fans leading up to the 2014 NFL Draft that, if the Texans were considering a non-quarterback with the first overall pick, it should be Mack instead of Clowney. Mack of course ultimately landed in Oakland with the fifth overall pick, while Clowney came to Houston number one overall.
Mack has become a legitimate star in Oakland, while Clowney continues to battle the injury issues that so many Texans fans were wary of in the first place. That said, Clowney has shown more than just "flashes" to this point and appears to be on his way to being not only a plus-player, but perhaps even a dominant one, provided he can just, well...you know.
I think even the most skeptical Texans fans who didn't want Clowney in the first place can see that the guy is a superstar in the making if he can just get on track health-wise. Unfortunately, going into his third season, there's been little assurance this can be the case, as Clowney has suffered both major and minor injuries from the jump.
Fahey also raises some interesting points about Clowney's usage that have been discussed at BRB. Sure, Clowney continues to drop into pass coverage on occasion; however I expect the more he develops his pass rushing game, the less we will see this happen. Of course for THAT to happen, he's got to stay on the field.
Presently, how are you feeling about Clowney's chances of having a breakout 2016? Feel free to discuss in the comments below.