Iowa Hawkeyes: NFL Draft Profile: Adrian Clayborn
Over the next couple of slides we'll go over Adrian Clayborn's draft profile. We'll take a step by step look through his basic profile, college production, position tools, film evaluation, combine results and finally arrive at a draft value for him.
College Position: 4-3 SDE
Projected Pro Position: 4-3 SDE seems to be his best fit, 3-4 DE (5 Tech) is a possibility as well
Height: 6'2 1/2
Arms: 32 1/2
Hands: 9 3/4
Arms are just a tad below average and his hands are about average as well. He has solid bulk for the position and has adequate height.
Doug Benc/Getty Images
Clayborn had a very solid career during his time with the Hawkeyes. He red-shirted his freshman year and become a contributor as a RS freshman and assumed duty as a starter his sophomore year. He put up solid numbers as as sophomore, but exploded onto the national scene with his junior year.
With Iowa trailing in the fourth quarter, he blocked a punt and returned it for a TD that helped Iowa to an upset of No. 5 Penn St. He turned in great games against Michigan St, Wisconsin and Ohio St, all of which were road games during '09. He then capped off Iowa's season with a dominant performance against Georgia Tech in the Orange Bowl. He created a ton of hype going into the off season and likely would have been a first round pick coming out after that performance.
His 2010 campaign was less than stellar in terms of statistics, but he saw many double teams and teams consistently game planned to minimize his impact. He turned in his best game of the year against Penn St. where he consistently was in the backfield causing havoc.
|Solo||Ast.||Total||TFL||Sacks||Hurries||Pass Break Ups||Blocked Kicks||FF||FR|
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
As far as position tools go Clayborn shines pretty bright. He has good size and strength for a NFL defensive end. He has a solid blend of speed and power moves as a pass rusher, but needs to develop more counter moves when he is initially stone-walled. He shows a violent punch and powerful hands.
Clayborn shows solid first step explosiveness, but isn't elite in that category. He doesn't consistently play with good leverage at this point and tends to get cut blocked more than you'd like to see. He needs to work hard to keep his pad level down and get under offensive tackles. He has solid scheme versatilty and shows the ability to play in a two gap scheme in addition to his ability to play in a 4-3.
Use of Hands
+ - Average
++ - Good
+++ - Excellent
++++ - Elite
2009 Iowa v. Ohio St
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
Combine Results/Pro Day
Clayborn at the 2011 Combine
The two numbers that really jump off the page at you about Clayborns work out numbers are his short shuttle and his vertical jump at 280lbs. It really lines up nicely with his impressive 10 yard split in the 40 as well, 1.61 which is excellent. He consistently shows the kind of explosion that allowed him to be a force on the field.
The low bench rep number might make a few teams raise an eyebrow, but very few Iowa guys have tested well in the bench press over the years so it isn't overly alarming. There aren't any times on tape where you see a lack of strength from Clayborn so most teams will shrug and not worry about his bench numbers.
Another significant fact from the combine and pro-day results is Clayborn's well publicized medical condition with the nerves in his right arm. Clayborn has Erb’s Palsy, a condition associated with dystocia during birth which affects nerves in the upper arm and can limit the use of the arm. At the combine when measuring arm length Clayborn had some issues straightening the arm for measurement, but it doesn't seem to affect his play much. However, he did play almost exclusively at RDE at Iowa allowing to mostly keep his right arm free. Teams seriously considering drafting Clayborn will likely work him out privately and have him examined by medical experts to ease concerns about his right arm.
Doug Benc/Getty Images
- Nerve Condition in right arm (Erb's Palsy)
- Lower production during senior season
- Pad level and ability to play with consistent leverage
- Excellent explosiveness
- Disciplined, intelligent player who will be coach-able at the next level
- Powerful pass rusher with good hands
I've watched every game of Clayborn's from the last two seasons, many from coaches film, and feel like I've got a pretty good feel for his game. He's not a top five-10 talent, but he would bring excellent value around pick 15 and beyond. His ultimate success in the NFL, like most prospects, will be greatly determined by the system he lands in. With some solid coaching, Clayborn should be a productive NFL player capable of producing solid sack numbers along with being a solid run defender.
Draft Value: 93/100(Top 20)
Where he lands: Tampa Bay at 20, or New Orleans at 24