Like Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy, an injury (toe) kept Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen from participating in any drills at the 2010 NFL Combine , leaving NFL scouts and GM's to gauge his draft value based on film alone.
Considering his 2009 film does nothing but help him, that might have been the best way possible for Clausen to enter this draft.
He still has some leadership and character concerns, but overall, Clausen is always in the conversation as possibly being the best prospect in this year's quarterback class. He could still go No. 1 overall.
Clausen is a very fluid and natural passer with over three years of solid experience in a pro-style offense and against solid competition.
His Notre Dame teams were never elite, which raises question about his leadership and ability to win big games, but much of that is due to the complacency around him.
You won't find a pass and throwing motion as pretty as his in this draft. His arm isn't a cannon, but you won't find anyone complaining about it, either. He has the strength, velocity, and accuracy to make all the necessary throws at the next level.
He can get lazy and throw off of his back foot or throw from his hip, but this negative is also a positive, as he has a sort of Brett Favre-esque to his abilities, where he truly appears to always have the ability to make a play.
He's extremely intelligent and confident (cocky?), and is a great general on the field. However, the confusion between confidence and arrogance raises the question if he can lead grown men at the next level and obtain his pro team's respect and full backing.
I've read many scouting reports on Clausen that knock him for a lack of athleticism and fluidity, but I'm just not seeing it. At least in this draft's class, he's the cream of the crop when it comes to fluidity.
He could be a little faster and stronger, but training with an NFL team can improve that.
His true knocks, which are very warranted, are his lazy footwork and his questionable character. Clausen said in a recent interview that he thinks people don't understand him, and while that may be so, the perception of the person he is, still stands.
Clausen is great at making things happen and keeping plays alive, and while that's an asset, coaches won't allow him to continue to do so with sloppy footwork and "flashy" passes.
His style is very unique compared to the other quarterbacks in the class, but he also doesn't have the control that Sam Bradford or Dan LeFevour possess.
This probably goes back to his personality, as he thinks he can make any throw, and think he can "do it all," even when on the run. This isn't always the case, and he will have to make the proper adjustments.
Sam Bradford is currently regarded as the most complete quarterback in this class, and that may be the case, but Clausen is just half a notch behind him in that argument, and arguably blows Bradford away when it comes to flat-out potential.
Clausen has the experience and moxie to be a franchise passer, and simply needs a good coach to keep his attitude and laziness on some of his throws and roll-outs in check.
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