The top picks from the 2014 NFL Draft will get their first taste of life in the big time as NFL training camps open this month. But while these young stars report to camp amid much fanfare, they also face struggles, on and off the field.
Jadeveon Clowney, a 6’ 5” linebacker from the University of South Carolina, emerged as the number one overall pick back in April despite enduring an injury-plagued season which severely impacted his otherwise stellar statistics.
After revealing that he played much of the 2013 season while suffering from a sports hernia, the 21 year-old underwent surgery in June, making him a question mark for the start of Houston Texans’ training camp, as reported in the Dedicated NFL section of bettingsports.com. However, the setback has not diminished Clowney’s ambition or sense of humor, as evidenced by a video recently posted on the Texans’ website featuring Clowney stating one of his goals for his rookie season: sacking Indianapolis Colts’ QB Andrew Luck.
Offensive Tackle Greg Robinson was taken second overall by the St. Louis Rams. But with depth on the left side, the Rams have decided to use Robinson as a guard in his rookie season, and the transition has been tough.
The 21 year-old has reportedly expressed his frustration at his seeming inability to keep up with the pace in spring workouts, discovering that playing guard may be just as difficult as playing tackle.
It will be a difficult camp for Robinson that could set the tone for his entire rookie season – good or bad.
Wide receiver Mike Evans, drafted seventh by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, had an outstanding season in 2013, being named Consensus All-American and First-Team SEC. The 20 year-old also set the school record at Texas A&M for most pass receptions in a game with 11.
But after injuring his hamstring back in May, on his very first day at Bucs’ mini-camp, Evans has struggled to get ready for Tampa Bay’s full camp, which opens on July 24.
While rehab on the injured hamstring has reportedly gone well, Evans has struggled with conditioning, and has been working out with Chicago Bears’ wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey to drop weight in preparation for camp.
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