Off Came ClaybornNovember 13th, 2013
It was 3rd-and-16 on the Dolphins’ opening drive at Miami’s 14 yard line, a big set-the-tone play for the Bucs defense, and off ran Adrian Clayborn to the sidelines.
Yes, Joe realizes the Bucs added an extra defender in pass coverage, but Joe finds it very telling that Clayborn was not among the D-lineman chosen to rush the passer on the opening set of downs. Surely, he wasn’t tired. Clayborn’s allegedly Tampa Bay’s best defensive end and he was a first-round pick in 2011.
Just how far has Clayborn fallen?
He’s got five sacks in his last 16 starts, dating back to 2011. Keep in mind the guy he was drafted to replace, Stylez White, had 4 1/2 sacks in his last 16 games.
Joe’s got a close eye on Clayborn. These aren’t meaningless games coming up for No. 94. If Clayborn can’t produce, alongside a superstar defensive tackle in Gerald McCoy, then Joe can’t see how the Bucs avoid chasing a top pass rusher in free agency come March. When you fail in the draft, you have to make up for it when the free agency bell rings.