Originally Posted by bhsman
Well, not being able to cover is not necessarily a weakness if you never need him to do it; Watt is never (or, at least, only rarely) asked to cover anyone and just rushes the passer/RB. O'Brien also made a good point that whether we stay in the 3-4 or switch to the 4-3, that ~60% of the time a defense is in a nickel or dime 4-man front anyways due to how profound the passing game has become as of late, just like you mention.
Drafting Clowney and staying in the 3-4 wouldn't preclude him from putting his hands on the ground. Any defensive coach worth his salt would find a way to use JD to the limits of his talent.
Watt was never considered to be a candidate to be converted to an OLB though either. If Clowney is brought in and they have any ideas about possibly converting him, he will be in coverage much more than he ever was in college...even if it is only 40% of the time as O'brien says; Either that or he'll be coming in off the bench on situational pass rushing downs much like Aldon Smith is used in SF.
The question then becomes, do we have the luxury of using 1-1 on a guy who's either a project at OLB or just a situational pass rusher? Especially when we have the chance to take the best qb prospect? I say no.