Jimmy Clausen Enters 2010 NFL Draft: Five Teams Likely to Draft Irish QB

Dave Finocchio@@DaveFinocchioSenior Writer IDecember 7, 2009

PALO ALTO, CA - NOVEMBER 28:  Jimmy Clausen #7 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish walks the sidelines during their game against the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium on November 28, 2009 in Palo Alto, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

At a press conference scheduled for 2 p.m. ET, Notre Dame's junior quarterback Jimmy Clausen will formally announce that he is forgoing his senior season to enter the 2010 NFL Draft.

Regardless of Notre Dame's recent decision to fire head coach Charlie Weis, it's unlikely that Clausen would've returned to play another year for the Irish.

On the heels of a 28 touchdown, 4 interception junior campaign, Clausen is well-positioned to be one of the first 10 players selected in the April draft.

Like any other draft, there are several NFL organizations who are desperately seeking their next franchise quarterback. Let's take a look at a few teams who might add Clausen to their short list:

5. Washington Redskins

Projected Pick: No. 6


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Daniel Snyder badly wants a big name quarterback, and he's exactly the type of guy who would be enamoured with the success that some top QB picks have had, of late, early in their careers.

Why Not

Jason Campbell is showing signs of turning the corner.

If the 'Skins draft Clausen, based on his reaction to trade rumors last offseason, Campbell would likely need to move, and Clausen would get thrown into the fire off the bat. This move feels risky.

4. Oakland Raiders 

Projected Pick: No. 8


JaMarcus Russell is light years away from becoming a mediocre NFL quarterback. Bruce Gradkowski is a stop-gap. Jimmy Clausen is a polished system QB, and a big name who will help fill the seats.

Why Not

Clausen can't throw a football 75 yards from his knees.

Selecting a quarterback with an average arm wouldn't jive with Al Davis's revolutionary offensive strategy, best described as having track-stars play receiver, and giants play quarterback. It'll work one of these years :).

3. Seattle Seahawks

Projected Pick: No. 11


Matt Hasselbeck is 34. Aside from Justin Forsett, the Seahawks appear to lack foundational talent, and they have to start rebuilding (enter new GM).

Clausen has trained for three years in a pro-style system, and one would think that the  transition to Seattle's West Coast offense would be fairly seamless. He could sit behind Hasselbeck for one or two years before taking the reins.

Why Not

Seattle has many holes, and in the very near term, the quarterback position isn't necessarily one of them.

Mike Holmgren aside, very few fresh general managers would want to stake their claim on a rookie QB off the bat. It's kind of an "all or nothing" move.

2. Buffalo Bills

Projected Pick: No. 7


The Bills and their fan base seem to have turned sour on Trent Edwards. With the team struggling (and struggling to stay in Buffalo), a nationally recognized QB prospect could bring the spotlight back to Northwest New York State in a way that Terrell Owens could not.

The Bills have quality skill players on offense, and a fairly stout defense. With a Matt Ryan- or Joe Flacco-like addition, they could find themselves back in the playoffs shortly.

Why Not 

Edwards is serviceable at worst, and he's just 26. Is a new head coach going to be willing to give up on him off the bat?

Former Buffalo great Jim Kelly has already made it clear that he doesn't like quarterbacks from California.

1. St. Louis Rams

Projected Pick: No. 2


Let's face it, the Rams need a quarterback. Mark Bulger is finished, and Kyle Boller is a poor man's David Carr.

Sam Bradford is a risky pick with his injury issues, and Jake Locker is awfully raw, and won't be ready to start anytime soon. Clausen could potentially step in right away next season, and set the franchise on a new ground.

Why Not

Any Notre Dame fan can tell you that Jimmy isn't very efficient when he faces significant pressure, but hey, who is?


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