In somewhat of a stunning slide, Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen was not selected in the first round of the NFL draft Thursday night.
The Cleveland Browns, who selected cornerback Joe Haden with their No. 7 overall pick, did not move back into the first round for a quarterback as had been speculated.
They are now sitting at pick No. 38, five picks away from both quarterbacks Colt McCoy of Texas and Jimmy Clausen. Will they trade up for one of them?
None of the teams in front of the Browns need a quarterback, but other teams could trade up and scoop up one or the other before the Browns pick.
If the Browns do make a move to select one of these young prospects, which one will it be?:
Jimmy Clausen (6'2" 223) Quarterback Notre Dame
Clausen has good size, above average arm strength, and can make any throw on the field. Very accurate, 28 TD to 4 INT in 2009, but will pull it down or throw it away too quickly if he feels it's not there.
The Irish quarterback has a huge advantage over much of his competition because he played in a pro-style offense at Notre Dame that featured the West Coast offense. He is comfortable under center.
The former Notre Dame star has very good mechanics and a nice release. He is very good at at taking something off of a throw and has nice touch on short and intermediate balls.
Even though he gets plenty of air under his deep throws, he does have to wind up a little to let it loose. Clausen is definitely the alpha male on the field and that rubs some the wrong way sometimes but most see it as a positive trait.
On a negative note or two, he needs to sell the play-action fake better, work on his footwork, and be more aware in the pocket. The quarterback prospect has a bad habit of breaking contain and scrambling before it's necessary.
Overall, Clausen is probably the most polished quarterback prospect in this draft and is the most ready to step into an NFL job. He has invaluable experience in a west coast offense and under center, is accurate, has a strong enough arm, and has just enough moxie to get it done.
Colt McCoy (6'1" 215) Quarterback Texas
Colt McCoy set a plethora of records at the University of Texas, including most wins at 45.
He led a potent Longhorn offense that relied primarily on the spread offense. McCoy is a four-year starter who is a team leader, a good athlete and a leader on the field and in the locker room.
The Texas star typically is a very accurate passer, and has a quick release. Colt has good upper body mechanics and nice touch and timing. The former Longhorn can buy time and make plays with his feet and is able to throw on the run.
Smart with a high football IQ, McCoy is a hard worker and has excellent touch on his short and intermediate passes. He had an extremely good pro-day in an artificial climate and is a confident, self assured young man.
McCoy is not very big and only has an average arm. He has a bit of a side arming motion and must learn to read defenses and go through progressions in a pro-style offense. Colt has limited experience taking snaps from center and sometimes locks onto receivers.
His average sized frame and the stinger he suffered lead to concerns about his durability . Will his passes float or maintain a tight spiral in Cleveland's cold, windy stadium in November and December?
I think the choice is obvious, but before I get blasted by the Colt McCoy fan club I'll make your case for you.
He is an extremely athletic quarterback who ran the 110 meter hurdles in high school in addition to starring on the basketball squad.
McCoy is also the most accurate quarterback in the draft and I am including Sam Bradford. Both of these qualities make him a good candidate for the hybrid West Coast offense Mangini and Daboll are installing at Holmgren's behest.
However, all though Clausen is not quite as accurate or mobile as McCoy he is accurate and mobile enough for the West Coast.
Plus, he has operated in a pro-style offense that was a variation of the West Coast at Notre Dame so he has experience operating under center, is bigger physically and allegedly has a stronger arm.
I am not a particular fan of either, but given a choice, and based on the scouting reports, I would rather have Clausen.
Holmgren has been high on McCoy, even comparing him to "Montana and Steve Young" in the press and mixed on Clausen, merely referring to him as "a good player."
What this means, I really don't know because Holmgren has been consistently inconsistent and the Browns have not presented a unified front.
Even tonight, there apparently was a disagreement between Holmgren and Coach Eric Mangini over first round draft pick Joe Haden, whom Holmgren preferred and Kyle Wilson, who Mangini wanted.
There was no mention of GM Tom Heckert's position. He seems like a pet boy to me.
Mangini has a defensive background and I think I would have wanted him to make the call on the cornerback just like I would want Holmgren, the quarterback guru, to make the call on a quarterback.
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