Jimmy Clausen Declines the NFL's Invitation To Attend the Draft

David LeonCorrespondent IApril 18, 2010

SOUTH BEND, IN - NOVEMBER 21: Jimmy Clausen #7 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish looks for a receiver against the Univeristy of Connecticut Huskies at Notre Dame Stadium on November 21, 2009 in South Bend, Indiana. Connecticut defeated Notre Dame 33-30 in double overtime. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

On Saturday April 17, the NFL Network announced that Jimmy Clausen will decline the NFL's invitation to attend the 2010 Draft in New York City.  Clausen and several of his family members had originally planned to fly to New York for the draft. 

However, his grandfather's wife died recently, and his grandfather did not feel up to the trip.  The Clausen family now plans to assemble at Jimmy's Grandfather's house in Palm Springs California.

It is all for the good.  Awkward moments may be avoided.  Clausen's direct predecessor, Brady Quinn, suffered through five hours in the Green Room as he slid down the board to pick 22, where he was selected by the Cleveland Browns.  Clausen's draft stock is volatile, and now sits at an uncertain point.  Clausen was originally projected some as a top-five pick, and many as a top-10 pick.  Since then his stock has bounced up and down the board.  

Many draft experts, with the sole exception of Mel Kiper Jr., are now predicting that Clausen will slide on April 22.  More and more mock drafts show him sliding out of the top 10.  Some, such as NFL analysts Jamie Dukes, believe a slide out of the first round is plausible.

When the draft began, it was believed that four of the top 10 teams would be in the market for quarterbacks.  Those teams were the Rams (No. 1), Redskins (No. 4), Browns (No. 7), and Bills (No. 9).  Some also view Seattle as a possibility, but with two picks in the first round, it is uncertain when they would be willing to select a QB. 

The Rams seem destined to select Oklahoma's Sam Bradford.  The Redskins traded for Donovan McNabb, filling their quarterback needs.  Mike Holmgren discounted the idea of selecting Clausen, saying "I wish I liked him better," and "He'll go high, but it would be hard for me."

Just a few days ago, the NFL Network reported a leak which stated the Bills intend to go with an offensive lineman at No. 9 and select Florida's Tim Tebow in the second round. With Tebow's stock rising, this may be problematic.  Were this to happen, in fact, Mel Kiper's reaction would be priceless.

Yesterday, Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News Twitter tweeted that the 49ers would "most certainly" select Clausen, were he available at the 13th pick.  This was according to sources; sources purportedly inside the 49er organization.  Lowell Cohn of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat dismissed this claim as rubbish .

Still others believe Clausen will be selected at No. 30 by the Minnesota Vikings, who will groom him as the successor to Brett Favre.  In all honesty, this would be the best thing for him.  

Clausen has been subjected to a ferocious pounding in the past week.  So harsh has been the criticism that even Clausen detractors, such as your author, have actually begun to feel pangs of sympathy for the young lad. 

On Thursday evening, Clausen took a beating from ESPN expert and former head coach John Gruden, who raised the spectre of Ryan Leaf in his video critique of Clausen.  This was not lost on Jim Rome on his Friday episode of Jim Rome is Burning.  You can view the video here

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-draft/09000d5d81794789/First-Draft-Jimmy-Clausen