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Projecting Jimmy Clausen


Jimmy Clausen is projected as top 10 pick in the 2010 NFL Draft by draft expert Scott Wright of DraftCountdown.com (Photo - Icon SMI)

With the dust settling on the hiring of Brian Kelly as the new head coach, its time to catch up on some news and events from the past couple weeks that didn’t receive too much attention with all of the hoopla surrounding the Notre Dame coaching search.

We all know that Jimmy Clausen is leaving Notre Dame early for the NFL, but outside of reporting on Clausen’s decision, where Clausen ends up in the draft hasn’t really been discussed here.

To get a good gauge as to where Clausen should end up in the draft, I asked Scott Wright from Draft Countdown what he thought of the now former Irish QB and where he saw him getting picked in April. Here’s what Scott had to say about Mr. James Clausen.

Just average height and arm strength but both are adequate. Has three years of experience in a pro-style offense, which can’t be underestimated in this day and age of the spread. Might have some minor durability concerns but has showed the toughness to play through injuries. Made major strides as a leader this year but may still have some issues with his intangibles and could rub some the wrong way. There is a fine line between being fiery and confident and overly cocky. Really reminds me of Aaron Rodgers. Barring any character red flags popping up he should fit into the Top 10 overall with a legit shot at the Top 5. Will compete with Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford to be the first quarterback selected.

Should Wright’s prediction for Clausen prove to be true, it’s easy to see why Clausen decided to forgo his final season in South Bend.

Clausen’s path to the top 10 got a little bit easier this week as well with Washington’s Jake Locker deciding to come back for his senior season. For Locker, coming back for another season made sense even though he had a good chance of being one of the first quarterbacks selected based on his potential alone. Locker has got prototypical size and excellent speed, but could use another year of seasoning in a pro style offense to better prepare himself for the NFL.

That wasn’t the case with Clausen who started the past three years for Notre Dame and really couldn’t do a whole lot to improve his draft stock or better prepare himself for the NFL.

With just three games left in the NFL season, the top of the draft order is a little clearer and there are plenty of teams currently projected to draft in the top 10 that could be in need of a quarterback. St. Louis is currently slated to draft first overall and could be in the market for a quarterback to replace the aging Marc Bulger. Early indications are that the Rams would go for Nebraska’s ridiculously dominant defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.

Oakland looks like it is pulling the plug on the JaMarcus Russell experiment and could be looking for a QB as well. Washington, Buffalo, Seattle,  and Denver (by virtue of getting Chicago’s draft pick in 2010) are all teams currently projected to draft in the top 10 that could be looking for a quarterback. Should Denver look to improve its quarterback position in the first round, it’s interesting to note that current Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels was an offensive coordinator for the Patriots prior to coaching the Broncos and has an offense that Clausen would be very familiar with.

If Clausen falls out of the top 10, other possible destinations for him could be Jacksonville, Arizona, or even Minnesota though I doubt he’d drop that far. Jacksonville could look to upgrade from David Garrard who’s leveled off over the past few seasons. Arizona still has Matt Leinart on their roster, but the former USC star hasn’t done much to prove he can take over for Kurt Warner once he retires. Minnesota has Brett Favre for now, but who knows what Favre will do and there is a huge drop-off from him to current backup Tavarius Jackson.

Regardless of where Clausen ends up, hopefully he can avoid the same type of draft day drama that Brady Quinn experienced in 2007 when he waited backstage at the draft until pick 22 until he heard his name called.  Luckily for Clausen, there are more teams in need of a quarterback at the top of the draft this year so that shouldn’t be the case.


  1. just found this article on espn


    We could always use another linebacker. Any other recruiting updates?

    • No and it appears that UHND.com dosn’t either. Do the writers of this blog remember that they have readers?

      I’m starting to think that I should start my own ND blog due to the amount of time that I spend searching for information.

      I wonder if unhd.com has passed on or may be they just don’t know what we want to read about.

      It seems that the readers are providing more infomation than this site.

  2. Interesting comments on Jimmy Clausen’s injured toe:
    Jimmy Clausen played his final 10 games at Notre Dame with torn ligaments in his right big toe and has told ESPN.com that he will undergo surgery Tuesday morning.

    He is expected to be sidelined for two to three months, but intends to throw for pro scouts in early April. The operation will be performed by renowned foot specialist Mark Myerson in Baltimore.

    “It’s a testament to him that he played with this type of injury,” Myerson said Monday. “How he managed is beyond me. I can only imagine what he’ll be like when he’s fixed.”

    Originally discribbed as turf-toe, the truth is, is that his toe was pretty torn up. I don’t think anyone can question this kids toughness.

    • Shazamrock,

      Kudos, Clausen was playing under adverse conditions and did an excellent job. The naysayers would have wimplified OUT after one game.

      The naysayers on Clausen are experts in faulting finding….the most common unskilled labor.

  3. Starting Freshman right off the bat not a good idea. We have Brandon Newman, Hafis Williams, Tyler Stockton. LB’s we have Little Puz, Flemming, Carlos Cabrese, #54 forget last name, and Brian Smith. Secondary you have little McCarthy, Slaughter, Walls, Grey, Blanton. I don’t get where people think we are depleted of talent. We have talent they just need direction on the defensive side of the ball. They will get it and the defense will be improved. Offense we are fine. The new lineman will step in we are talented at wide out, TE, RB and QB. Lets give Kelly a chance and see what he can do with CW’s players. I want to see if he keeps this class together and picks up some more recruits.

    • IT SAYS 2011………There are no freshman on the list!!!

      And you’re right…it was a HORRIBLE idea to start Teo this year…damn freshman!!

  4. C IS RIGHT!!!!!!!!!! Where’s the new stuff???????????

    After watching the UA game on Saturday I’m conviced that we desperately need to sign Dietrich Riley! He was hitting everything HARD!!! Assuming the 3-4 defense is the system, my fantasy starting line-up for the 2011 season (the year they win the NC) would be…..

    D-Ends – Ethan Johnson, KLMoore
    Nose – Louis Nix
    Middle LB’s – Teo, Filer
    OLB’s – Flemming, Anthony Barr
    Corners – No idea….just find some!!!!!
    Safety – Dietrich Riley, Corey Cooper

    Who would you start????

  5. How about a new article….What is going on with Chuck Martin and the defense, how about these recruits or T’eo staying, I am tired of seeing “Projecting Jimmy Clausen” everyday.

  6. Frankie,

    Time for new content the gerbils are falling off the wheel! By the way, keep up the good work and happy new year!

  7. The Gator Nation is doomed.

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