Jimmy Clausen has been the subject of controversy ever since he decided to enter the NFL Draft after the closing of his junior year as quarterback of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
He has been considered by his team to be a strong leader and quick-witted person when under pressure.
However, I think we have to look at some other facts.
I think on any other team he would be considered an average player. Notre Dame, with its recent crackdown by the NCAA on grades made by athletes, has been forced to scale back somewhat on talent.
In my opinion, he is average and is making a foolish move by entering the draft at an early time like this. A smart move would have been to consider the NFL Draft his senior year, which would give him the opportunity to gain more experience.
Here are the reasons why I think Jimmy Clausen will not be as potent of a player in the NFL.
The Throwing Arm
As I have observed, Clausen's arm strength will play a key role in his throwing abilities to quick wide receivers in the pros. He can throw quick passes decently to close offensive players, but when it comes to going deep, he throws short. This deters NFL scouts, who look for quarterbacks who can be versatile when it comes to their throwing range.
The NFL is much quicker than college football, and I feel with a lack of experience he would underthrow skilled wide receivers.
Ball Handling While Under Pressure
Clausen's grip on the football while he is running under pressure is crucial in the NFL. Especially with the hard hits given by veteran defensive linemen, Clausen needs to have control of the football so he does not fumble.
He has had problems with ball security while he was at Notre Dame, as we know. If he does not fix this problem, then fumbles will most likely occur often, which will lead to a severe drop in his NFL stock.
Shuffling of the Feet
Clausen mostly remains calm in the pocket, but sometimes under pressure from the defense he will shuffle his feet and become nervous before releasing or running the football. This can become a problem if not fixed promptly. Some of the problems that could occur is that he would be sacked because he could not move his feet fast enough.
Throwing Away the Football
Under pressure, Clausen throws the football away if no receivers seem to be clear of coverage. But in a professional situation, actions need to be taken within a split second. Due to Clausen's anxiety under pressure from the defense, I feel he would be throwing away passes frequently or causing an interception by daring to throw into coverage.
Tampa Bay's Quick Offense Versus Jimmy Clausen's Slow Thinking
Even though Josh Freeman was a rookie when he filled in as quarterback during the middle of the year, he could analyze the offense better because he spent time on both the sidelines and the field.
Clausen uses time he wouldn't have in the NFL to think about his next move when he throws the ball down the field. When handing off the ball when he is shuffling like I mentioned earlier, it is possible that he would not firmly give the ball to the running back.
Although their season was not impressive this year, in the future I presume they will seek the playoffs within a few rebuilding years. It should be a good ride.
Thank you to everyone who has read my article. Tell me what you think—comment!