40 time (projected): 4.84
Draft board overall prospect rank: #2
Draft board overall quarterback rank: #1
Overall rating: 98*
1/16/10: Didn’t step up clutch in close games last year, but still had a hell of a statistical year for a mere junior throwing 28 touchdowns to 4 picks and averaging 8.8 YPA out of a pro style offense. It’s safe to say that while he lost a lot of close games, all 6 of his losses were by a touchdown or less, Notre Dame would have gotten destroyed without him. He played his best in big games and got absolutely no help from his defense. He has experience playing behind a poor offensively line, which he’ll likely have to do in the NFL if he goes top 5 as he’s projected, and he played most of last season through an injured foot, showing his toughness. He’s the top quarterback prospect in this draft class and gets a 98 rating. For the record, Matt Stafford got a 97 last year.
10/14/09: Jimmy Clausen is tearing it up this season for Notre Dame and is a Heisman candidate, maybe the favorite at this point, but I’m not completely sold on him as an elite quarterback prospect because I’m not sold on his decision making. Yes, he’s having a great year this year 5 games in with a 67.6% completion percentage and a YPA of 10.4, but you can’t forget about his first two years. His freshman year he didn’t even have a 60% completion percentage and last year he threw 17 picks. It’s obvious he has a good strong arm, but his decision making is questionable. He can be a bit of a gunslinger and forces a lot of bad throws when down. This year he has had the supporting cast, with a good defense supporting him, and amazing receivers, but if he goes top 5 next year, he’s not going to a team with a good supporting cast. He’ll be down a lot and I don’t know if he’ll play well from behind. The consistency hasn’t been all there this year as he has a completion percentage last than 60% in two of his 5 games. That being said, he does have an amazing arm. He can be accurate on the long ball if he makes the right read and doesn’t force things. He is accurate on short passes as well and can really air it out. He is putting up these stats in a pro style offense against BCS caliber defenses so talent wise and scheme wise he won’t face much of an adjustment to the NFL. He has a really good chance to go top 5, depending on how lenient scouts are when it comes to Sam Bradford’s injury. I would take him top 10 and I definitely think he has a chance to be a franchise quarterback, but I’m not sold on him as an elite quarterback prospect right now. I think Bradford’s decision making is about 10 times better than Clausen’s and a lot of the time that trumps talent.
NFL Comparison: Tony Romo
*=For a breakdown of what this means, click here