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Scouting Jimmy Clausen


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#91 Mr. Scot

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 11:22 AM

Nothing postable on here, that's for sure. But I'd be wearing a big ass smile for days.

Not quite the same, but I will be spoiling her a bit this weekend.

I offered that as part of the bet, to which she said "but you do that for me, anyway" :D

Wow thanks to everyone who contributed to this great thread. A lot of really good reads in here. So basically, if our Oline can get their poo together, we could have a really exciting and special young QB! I can't remember being so excited to watch one player as I am to watch Jimmy this Sunday!

I felt that way in 1995 about Kerry Collins :(

(I'm definitely hoping for better long-term results this time)

If he struggles early, especially given other team issues, I'm not going to worry that much.

Edited by Mr Scot, 23 September 2010 - 11:30 AM.


#92 Mr. Scot

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 11:34 AM

Decision-Making: No issues with Clausen here - he is an elite decision-maker. He had a 7:1 touchdown-intercpetion ratio in a West Coast offense as a junior, which is just incredible. He does a great job of taking what the defense gives him, but he also isn't overly conservative as a checkdown machine. Sam Bradford is a great decision-maker too, but decisions are more easily made when you have an All-Big XII offensive line blocking for you in a shotgun spread. Clausen understands how to read coverage and had great tutelage under Charlie Weis. You can spout off Bradford's statistics all you want and yes they are better than Clausen's, but there is uncertainty with Bradford here at the next level that you just don't have with Clausen.

Edge: Clausen

Release: Clausen has a bit of a three-quarter release, but plenty of quarterbacks in the NFL excel if they drop it down a little lower. His motion is very compact and extremely quick. He does a great job of getting hip torque in the throw to maximize power and speed of getting the ball out. Bradford short arms the ball a little bit for me, which takes some power off his throws. He has a quick release, but Clausen seems to generate more power out of his motion.

Edge: Clausen

Footwork: Clausen really improved this as a junior, but at times it is a little shaky. Sam Bradford should have better feet as he gets acclimated to working under center. At times, Clausen will be off balance or out of alignment, throwing off his accuracy. Slight edge to Bradford in this area.

Edge: Bradford

Awareness: At times, Clausen will be too sensitive to the pass rush and get the ball slightly earlier than he should and do a better job letting routes develop. Bradford seems to have a better sense for the pocket, but Clausen also does a good job stepping up or outside to get the throw off. I'm a little uncertain here with Bradford because he always had an elite offensive line in front of him, but I see a couple minor issues here with Clausen.

Edge: Bradford

Size: Clausen is close to 6-3 at 222 pounds. Sam Bradford is slightly taller than 6-4 and has bulked up to 236 pounds carrying the weight well. Size isn't an issue for Clausen, but Bradford is obviously closer to the prototype (which would be a Josh Freeman). Clausen's hand size is below average.

Edge: Bradford

Football I.Q: For those who don't know, football intelligence is the little things a player does that shows a very profound knowledge for the game. For example, throwing the ball away when you are outside the pocket and all receivers are blanketed displays impressive football I.Q. Being aware of a first down marker for an offensive skill position player is football I.Q. Knowing the four- and two-minute offense and being aware of how to use timeouts is football I.Q. Understanding pass protection and its audible is critical for offensive linemen and quarterbacks.

Jimmy Clausen grades out at an extremely high level in this area. He understands the nuances of the West Coast offense, and while Bradford doesn't have a low football I.Q. he just never benefitted from learning under Charlie Weis. I love how Clausen makes extremely quick decisions, shows an impressive knowledge of the 2-minute offense under pressure and throws the ball away very quickly when he's supposed to.

Edge: Clausen

Competitiveness: This is a very difficult intangible to measure, but Clausen wins with flying colors. I just can't give this to Bradford. Sure he won more in college, but he also had an All-Big XII offensive line, great receivers and one of the best defenses in the country. Clausen really won me over by having four comeback victories last year including a game-winning drive against Purdue on a bad toe... and he didn't even take one snap prior in the second half!

After being down by 20 points against USC in the fourth quarter, Clausen brought back Notre Dame to the point where they were a yard away from tying the game. I just don't see the same kind of fire and ice-in-veins that I see in Bradford when the game is one the line. Bradford is competitive, but Clausen proved last season he's on a different level in this area when faced with much more adversity.

Edge: Clausen

Work Ethic: Both Bradford and Clausen work very hard off the field, and they will win the respect of their teammates in this area.

Edge: Push

Leadership: Notre Dame players and coaches raved about Clausen's leadership. You would see him on the sidelines encouraging his teammates when he was injured against Purdue. He took charge as the field general and really carried the team. Bradford also has great leadership and can certainly lead a franchise in this department.

Edge: Push

Toughness: When Sam Bradford sprained his shoulder against BYU, he didn't return and play through the pain. Jimmy Clausen tore two ligaments in his right big toe against Michigan State in the second quarter, but still managed to finish the game. He also played the remaining nine games in the season on what was diagnosed as a turf toe. You can't get much mentally tougher than this - think Philip Rivers. Bradford was also rarely hit at Oklahoma because of his great offensive line and playing in the spread.

Edge: Clausen

Durability: If you can play nine games on a bad toe, which is extremely painful especially for a quarterback because that's how he generates power from his lower body, then you are very durable. Bradford demonstrated little to no durability at Oklahoma.

Edge: Clausen

Production: I'm not going to hold the spread offense against Bradford at Oklahoma in terms of production. He did as well as he could. I'm also not going to hold Clausen accountable for his first two years at Notre Dame because you shouldn't expect a freshman or sophomore to thrive in a West Coast offense because it's much more difficult to execute. Clausen had outstanding production as a junior with a poor offensive line, defense and running game. So you think he had "great receivers?" Kyle Rudolph and Michael Floyd missed a combine eight games. Bradford had a much better supporting cast, but I'm not holding that against him here.

Edge: Push

Mobility: Clausen has decent mobility. I don't think he's a very fluid athlete, but he will step out of the pocket to make a throw if he needs to. Bradford is a little better with his pocket presence and getting outside the pocket.

Edge: Bradford

NFL-Readiness: Clausen made NFL coverage reads and was an elite decision-maker in the same offense Tom Brady played in. He has great field vision and is highly comfortable dropping back under center. Bradford will have a learning curve at the next level. I also think Clausen had more adversity at Notre Dame when you consider an inferior supporting cast (especially on the offensive line) and therefore is more equipped to psychologically handle the rigors of an NFL season. Bradford played under center some as a freshman, but he executed a relatively simple offense against Big XII defenses with an elite supporting cast. He'll struggle in his first year or two, while I think Clausen can produce right away if he gets a solid offensive line.

Edge: Clausen

Upside: When I evaluate a quarterback's upside, arm strength is the biggest variable. A very good arm can allow a quarterback to fit a ball through very tight windows and make up for being a split-second slow in progression reads. Bradford is a little more athletic and is a little bigger, but Clausen is by no means small and definitely has an NFL-frame. Sure, Bradford might have more room to grow as a quarterback, but that isn't fair to Clausen. Are you better off not being polished as opposed to being pre-packaged ready? I also think Clausen's intangible makeup (competitiveness, toughness) gives him more upside than Bradford.

Edge: Clausen

Touch: Both quarterbacks throw a tight spiral, and know when to let the ball go. They know when to take a little velocity off the ball to help out their receivers.

Edge: Push

Timing: Clausen has a major edge here because he has the footwork and under-center experience. He also understands the details of a West Coast offense more than Bradford. He also does a better job of getting the ball out before the receiver breaks into his route. Bradford isn't bad in this area, but there is room for him to develop.

Edge: Clausen

Athleticism: Bradford looks a little more natural running in the open field and seems to have more flexibility. Unfortunately, we don't have the measurable on Clausen due to injury to compare to Bradford. On tape, Bradford is without a doubt the better athlete, but I maintain that athleticism is a little overrated at the quarterback position (look at Peyton/Eli Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, etc. None of these guys are great athletes).

Edge: Bradford

Verdict: Clausen's biggest advantages over Bradford include arm strength (one of the most important for a quarterback), competitiveness, toughness and durability. Bradford's biggest edges are size, mobility and athleticism. In my comparison of 21 quarterback attributes, Clausen wins 10-6, with five ties.

I give Clausen some edge over Bradford, but not a tremendous amount. Clausen is No. 5 overall on my 2010 NFL Draft Big Board, while Bradford ranks in at No. 14.

That's a pretty good analysis.

Now that they're pros, you could add "Contract" for which, from a team perspective, you'd have to give a big edge to Clausen.

#93 youmaywinsome

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 11:29 PM

I like the kid.


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