Gil Brandt Impressed With Adrian Clayborn

April 29th, 2011

OK, Joe has read all the excuses people are piling on about Bucs first round draft pick Adrian Clayborn and why he didn’t have a good senior season: He was overrated. He didn’t play against anyone (Joe had to pick himself up off the floor after reading that). He has a baby arm. He punched a cabbie.

Seems as though Gil Brandt is laughing like Joe.

Brandt, who was the architect of the famed “America’s Team” of the 1970s Dallas Cowboys, makes a good living as an NFL analyst for NFL.com, Sirius NFL Radio and still pulls in a paycheck from the NFL.

Brandt, as he told the Iowa Hawkeyes blog BlackHeartsGoldPants.com, fell in love with Clayborn’s motor after a come-from-behind loss to Northwestern in Chicago on the last week of the season.

“I just happened to be looking at the (2010) Northwestern game,” said Brandt, who spent three decades as the vice president of player personnel with the Dallas Cowboys. “I thought at the end of the game, when the game was on the line, he came from the right side, the quarterback’s backside, and he was really hustling to make a play. I think that’s a good mark when you see a guy late in the year, who’s gotten a lot of accolades — rightfully so — and he’s working hard to be a better player.

“You classify that as a hustle play or a competitive play. That play meant a lot to me as far as evaluating.”

Clayborn didn’t get to Northwestern’s Dan Persa on that play. He was a split-second late. Persa threw a touchdown pass that lifted the Wildcats to a 21-17 victory last November.

But that’s not the point to Brandt. What he saw was Clayborn — whose hustle as a senior was questioned in recent months in the NFL draft blogosphere — playing with max effort on the 82nd snap of the season’s 10th game.

Call Joe what you will, but Joe enjoyed the 3:30 p.m. Saturday Big Ten games and the noon games on Big Ten Network when he wasn’t distracted by Courtney the Bartender, of course. Clayborn showed Joe enough smarts and enough big plays that gives Joe reason to believe he has a chance to be a force with the Bucs.

4 Responses to “Gil Brandt Impressed With Adrian Clayborn”

  1. Dave Says:

    I agree and said it last night. What I like most is he was the emotional leader of the defense and was known to go all out.

    Another big thing is his hands. I heard going back to last year that, like Brian Price, he uses his hands great.

    He is a powerful rusher and I am sure the new line coaches will teach him some moves to go with it.

    That all said………………

    I am not one to trade up. I think the Falcons are idiots for giving up so much for one player. To me, the more picks the merrier. The more chance of success. I would rather have 10 total picks than 5 in the top 3 rounds. More chance of success.
    HOWEVER, when I saw Robert Quinn slip out of the top 10 I was kind of hoping the Bucs would trade up and grab him. I think he is the best player in the draft.
    But… like many here never admit, what do I know.

  2. Number 41 Says:

    And yet we keep hearing nothing about the fact that he lacks strength in his right arm due to his Palsy condition.

    That doesn’t bother anyone else?

  3. Joe Says:

    Number 41:

    Many have brought this up including Dominik. This didn’t happen overnight. It’s an issue he has dealt with all his life. In fact, Dominik sited the fact that Clayborn was able to overcome this as a plus.

  4. McBuc Says:

    Joe, being a fan of Big Ten Football, I agree 110% with you on this kid.

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