Many people had been predicting a Brady Quinn-like draft day tumble for Jimmy Clausen for weeks now. Turns out those people were wrong – his fall is worse. Clausen went from a sure fire top 10 pick months ago to completely out of the first round on Thursday night.
The popular projection for Clausen heading into Thursday night’s first round was the mid teens to early 20′s. Pick by pick went by the board though and Clausen never heard his name. Making matters even more frsutrating for the former Irish was the selection of Tim Tebow by the Denver Broncos with the 25th overall selection. Tebow, one of college football’s greatest players of all time, is labeled as more of a project due to his lengthy throwing motion and spread offense background.
Clausen, meanwhile, had the pedigree and background in a pro-style offense that was supposed to make him an lock for the first round. Only two quarterbacks were selected Thursday, however, and Clausen wasn’t one of them.
With a full night in between the first and second round for the first time ever, the St. Louis Rams, owners of the first pick of the second round are sure to field some calls tonight with team’s looking to move up to take Clausen as one heck of a value pick. Many scouts had Clausen rated as a top 10 talent in the draft which should make him very enticing for any quarterback needy teams as the phone lines burn up in War Rooms across the league late tonight into tomorrow.
Plenty of teams at the top of the second round are still in need of a quarterback and some teams that may not have planned on selecting a quarterback early could be changing their plans with Clausen and Texas’s Coly McCoy still available. Cleveland, Minnesota, Oakland, and Buffalo all pick within the first 10 selections in the second round and all could use a quarterback.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted late Thursday that Charlie Weis would be spending the night trying to convince the Chiefs to select Clausen if he is available when they select 5th tomorrow. While that tweet was more speculation than fact, it’s not out of the realm of possibility for the Chiefs to take a chance on Clausen at this point. Matt Cassell didn’t light the world on fire last year in his first season as a starter in Kansas City and Weis would have an easier time installing his offense with a quarterback familiar with his system like Clausen.
Other teams that could look to wait for Clausen or trade up for him include Carolina (16th pick in the 2nd) and Arizona (26th pick in the 2nd).
One of the first few teams drafting in the 2nd will likely end up with the steal of the draft in Clausen though. The Vikings make the most sense since Brett Favre, even if he comes back, can’t have a whole lot left in the tank and they have a roster that is built to be very competitive for the next several years with a solid QB, but they traded out of the first round when Clausen fell in their lap at 30th overall.
While his future NFL home is uncertain at this point, one thing is certain – he will have plenty of motivation to excel at the next level after falling as far as he has.
Clausen’s favorite wide receiver, Golden Tate, fell out of the first round as well although he wasn’t projected as a first rounder by most draft gurus. If Kansas City doesn’t select Clausen, I would be surprised if they didn’t select Tate.