Adrian Clayborn Vs Top '09 Opponents

hawkeye gamefilmContributor IJune 8, 2010

When I looked back through tape of the 2009 season on Adrian Clayborn the games that were of the most interest were Wisonsin and Indiana. These were his best opponents by a wide margin during the season. So below is how Clayborn stacked up against his best competition.

1) Rodger Saffold - Indiana - 6'5 314 - 33rd Overall Pick in the 2010 Draft(2nd Rd Pick 1): Projects as a possible starter at LT but would likely be a immediate starter at RT
The stats:
Tackles: 3.5
AST: 7
Solo:  0
TFL: 1.5
AST: 3
Solo: 0
Sacks: 0.5
AST: 1
Solo: 0

The Story: The numbers here are fairly reflective of how the match up went. Saffold certainly wasn't a doormat in this game but he did struggle in several areas with AC. He struggled with maintaining contact in the run game and AC successfully escaped him and disrupted the play fairly often. In pass protection Saffold didn't give up any big sacks, but this isn't a very telling fact due to Indiana's heavy reliance on shotgun snaps and a quick read passing game.  Indiana either went short drop from the shotgun, rolled away from AC or slid extra help to him 80+% of the time. When left in 1 on 1 most of the time Saffold looked good shuffling and mirroring but there were few real opportunities to look at. Saffold also got away with a pretty blatant hold on AC in a 1 on 1 match up as well. Saffold did a nice job anchoring against power moves but didn't appear to have quite the athleticism to consistently stay with AC in space.

The result: 2 Splash plays & 2 QB hurries/pressures
1 on 1 Breakdown: Saffold - 2 Clayborn - 3

This was the best 1 on 1 match up that Clayborn saw last year and he still got the better of his man head to head. The number of 1 on 1's were pretty limited but Saffold lost more of them than he won and likely would have lost more had there been more 1 on 1 opportunities. Clayborn gets the nod here.

2) Gabe Carimi - Wisconsin - 6'7 320 - listed in the top 5 draft eligible OT's by ESPN analysts for 2011. I have him as an early 2nd round grade currently.
The stats:
Tackles: 4.5
AST: 3
Solo: 3
TFL: 2
AST: 0
Solo: 2
Sacks: 1
AST: 0
Solo: 1
The story: During this matchup Carimi looked overwhelmed at times and others Carimi held up nicely. Carimi was unable to maintain contact and move AC around at all in the run game. Several times AC just drove Carimi into the backfield and then disengaged to make the play. He had better luck in pass protection for the most part, but the move he had no answer for was the initial power punch to speed burst around the outside to get to the QB. AC's initial punch knocked him off balance and gave AC the outside lane.Carimi got a bit high in his pass set a couple of times and it reduced his ability to react to both power and speed moves.  AC also scored a 1 on 1 sack with a speed to power rush that had Carimi tripping over his own feet. Several times Tolzien made poor throws because of pressure from AC in this game as well. I have to give Carimi credit as this game went on though. He easily could have gotten frustrated, started holding or playing stupid/angry  but he kept his head in the game He worked very hard shuffling and mirroring Clayborn on speed rushes to the outside, focused more on his technique and he stayed lower in his pass set as the game went along. Clayborn was doubled or rolled away from a fair amount during this game as well. Wisconsin, like Indiana, also tried to stick to mostly 3 and 5 step routes.

The result: 3 Splash plays & 3 QB hurries/pressures
1 on 1 Breakdown: Carimi - 3 Clayborn - 6

A fair drop off from Saffold, Carimi doesn't appear to have the combo of lower body strength and athleticism to keep up with a rusher like Clayborn. Clayborn won this match up pretty handily.