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Why Shouldn't the St. Louis Rams Choose Jimmy Clausen at No. One?

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Why Shouldn't the St. Louis Rams Choose Jimmy Clausen at No. One?
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

I don't know why so many people have suddenly trashed the idea of the St. Louis Rams drafting Jimmy Clausen first overall in the 2010 draft.  For some unknown reason Clausen has seemed to become one of the most underappreciated junior quarterbacks ever to declare for the NFL draft in recent memory.

Now don't get me wrong, a lot of the criticism leveled at Clausen is warranted. But most of it isn't.

Some of this hatred of Jimmy Clausen seems to me to be some kind of knee-jerk reaction to the fact that he went to Notre Dame.  Notre Dame is the most hated school in college football, simply because they've been so dominant over the years.

That success on the field has led to them being able to recruit top graduating seniors from all over the United States, thereby effectively poaching these blue-chippers from under the noses of the respective football powers in those states.

If you are wanting to have an objective and reasonable discussion of the merits of Jimmy Clausen as the number one pick, let's cut the BS and get over any hate for his school if you have it.  Really, would there even be any discussion here if he went to USC, Michigan, or Texas?

Just based on statistics, Clausen had one of the best years a junior quarterback has had in recent memory.

Look at the comparison with some other high profile QBs selected in the first round in recent years.  Jimmy Clausen ranks first in Passing Yards, first in TDs, first in INTs thrown (fewest) and first in completion percentage.  Only in YPA did he come in second to Matt Stafford.

The most outstanding figure is his TD/INT ratio of 7/1.  Not even Peyton Manning had that kind of ratio in his last year of college ball, and he's generally regarded now as one of the best, if not the best, quarterback in football.

The fact that he’s a cocky little mother also seems to have rubbed some people the wrong way as well.  Let’s be blunt here folks: What on earth is wrong with a confident player at the most important position on the team?

If you are going to dump on Jimmy Clausen for being confident and cocky in his ability, I hope you are consistent and are also writing off Ben Roethlisberger and Philip Rivers as bad quarterbacks because they are both cocky.

Now please don’t misunderstand me; I am not claiming that Jimmy Clausen is the second coming of Joe Montana.  The bottom line is Clausen certainly needs to be looked at as one of, if not the most NFL ready junior quarterback prospect in the history of the NFL Draft.

Take a look at the statistics of a select group of quarterbacks in the spreadsheet below; all of these stats were taken from each quarterback's junior season who went on to successful NFL careers.

Clausen simply blows everyone away.  His touchdown to interception ratio puts Peyton Manning's 1996 season to shame.

His completion percentage is a good five points ahead of Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger.

Clausen threw six less interceptions than EVERYONE.

Clausen's ranks across the board: First, Second, First, First, First, First.

Over the next 10 years, I fear that nearly all snaps are going to be taken out of shotgun and NFL front offices are going to be using Ouijas Boards and evaluating prospects based on physical tools only since the schemes are so easy to execute.

Clausen wasn’t executing an easy scheme; he was executing the toughest offensive scheme on the national stage. If Notre Dame's defense was just average, this team would have won 10 games this year.

 

 

 

 

Player

Final College Year

Pass Yds

YPA

TDs

INTs

TD/INT ratio

Comp. %

Peyton Manning

1996

3,287

8.7

20

12

1..7

64%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eli Manning

2002

3,401

7.1

21

15

1.4

58%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phillip Rivers

2002

3,353

8.0

20

10

2

63%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ben Roethlisberger

2002

3,238

7.6

22

11

2

63%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matt Ryan

2006

2,939

6.9

15

10

1.5

62%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matt Stafford

2008

3,459

9.0

25

10

2.5

61%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jimmy Clausen

2009

3,722

8.8

28

4

7

68%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clausen Ranks

 

1st

2nd

1st

1st

1st

1st

 

 

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