Despite the difference in production between his junior and senior years, the film evaluation is very similar. You see a player who's capable of taking control of games and is an excellent prospect. He faced a number of high quality prospects on film in '09 and '10 and accounted for himself well against them. Much was made about wearing down Iowa's defensive line late in games by the media, but this isn't an as much of a concern as it was made out to be. Iowa rarely gave Clayborn rest and their style of defense led to many long sustained drives, particularly against spread teams.
In '09 when teams were still trying to block Clayborn one-on-one the vast majority of the time there are many opportunities to see his value at the NFL level. Clayborn simply wasn't able to be handled by most of his competition and he accumulated big numbers until teams adjusted for him and gave their LT help.
He posted a solid performance against Roger Saffold (33rd Overall pick in 2010 draft) and a great one against Gabe Carimi in '09 (Carimi is projected as a mid-late first round pick in 2011). Carimi did a much better job in '10 against Clayborn, but still gave up a strip sack that killed a drive. That 2010 match-up could probably be characterized as a draw for both Carimi and Clayborn as both likely cemented their first round status with their levels of play.
One of the concerns you see on film with Clayborn is his vulnerability to cut blocks. Many teams realizing it was pointless to have a guy go toe to toe with Clayborn and began having TEs and RBs cut block him and often from motion, allowing the blocker to get a head of steam before attacking low on Clayborn. Teams would also roll the pocket away from Clayborn in an effort to mitigate his effectiveness.
One of the things that jumps out at you about Clayborn is how powerful he is at the point of attack. When he makes a quick diagnosis of a run play, he'll burst through his blocker and attack the ball carrier. His ability to shed blockers is impressive, but at times he'll take too long to diagnose and he won't have an angle to make a play.
Overall on film he comes across as a very solid prospect, but has room for improvement in terms of consistency and technique. I have some concern with his ability to play with consistent leverage, but he also has shown the ability to take over games and completely disrupt teams game-plans.
Best games on Film:
- @Ohio St '09
- @Michigan St '09
- Penn St '10
- @Wisconsin '09