Souring On Adrian Clayborn

February 14th, 2011

Joe’s good friend Justin Pawlowski of WDAE-AM 620 is mere hours away from bombarding all of Joe’s readers with unmatched draft analysis that will be a daily feature here at through the draft.

To give readers a whiff of what they can expect, Justin Sunday took a defensive end to task that many believe the Bucs will draft in the first round, Iowa’s Adrian Clayborn.

Justin is tired of all the excuses people have thrown Clayborn’s way for his reduced production in 2010 and, in short, believes the excuses don’t hold water, so Justin wrote on the new draft page on WDAE’s website.

There have just been red flags galore with Clayborn. He was as dynamic of a defensive end in 2009, but his stats and production went way down in 2010. Some people say that opposing offenses were keying on him which forced his production to take a major dive, but if that’s the case, why was Ryan Kerrigan so productive in 2010? Hell, I can’t even name another player on Purdue, so why wouldn’t teams in the Big Ten key on Kerrigan the same way they keyed on Clayborn? I guarantee you that they did and Kerrigan was still extremely productive.

Justin goes on to write that if Clayborn blows off the combine, he will plummet to the second round, or worse.

Joe believes Justin makes a lot of sense with the Clayborn/Kerrigan comparison but Joe’s not going to buy that Clayborn’s stock will plummet as a result of him not showing up in Indianapolis. The combine is a glorified track practice and by now teams have loads of tape of each and every prospect. As Mark Dominik once said, the eye in the sky doesn’t lie.

Clayborn not working out in the Senior Bowl did more to Pearl Harbor his first round chances as anything.

There will be a pro day at Iowa for scouts and front office types to monitor Clayborn and of course there will be private workouts with teams. If Clayborn blows those off, then there is very much reason to be concerned.

Joe knows this about Clayborn: The dude has impressive hands and hand-to-eye coordination. You can’t coach those traits up and both are critical to a good defensive end.

21 Responses to “Souring On Adrian Clayborn”

  1. Blake Says:

    Thank you! Clayborn doesn’t suck, but Kerrigan>>>Clayborn.

  2. Hunter Says:

    I don’t know about Clayborn. Clayborn is way too inconsistent. Also, don’t forget Clayborn had another good DE in Iowa in potential second round pick Christian Ballard. Ryan Kerrigan may not be a perfect fit, but he has an extremely impressive motor. If a miracle happens and there’s no lockout, and if we get Ray Edwards or another DE in FA, I would be OK with getting the best player available in the first round.

  3. NorCalBucFan Says:

    Kerrigan will most likely be gone by the time we draft….this is like guys being mad we got McCoy instead of Suh !!

    We never had the opportunity get Suh, so comparing them is stupid. Just as we will probably not have a choice between these 2 guys.

  4. Hire Greg Olson! Says:

    We should be talking about every DE this side of DaQuann Bowers, because if history is any teacher, Mark “Magic Man” Dominik likes to move up to get his guy.

    I wouldn’t be shocked if we moved up 9 spots to get Kerrigan or, dare I say, Cameron Heyward.

    How come no one has mentioned Heyward on here? (honest question)

  5. Capt.Tim Says:

    2 years ago, Clayborn displayed the speed to be an elite DE. Last year, not so much. The Iowa story was that his injured knee, added added pressure, Hurt his game. Sooo, is he really 1009 or 2010 Adrian Clayborn? He showed up at the north south game, talked to several teams, then withdrew. Why? Either he is hiding, or he AND a team are pretty much already in bed together- where both parties like the marriage(!!). Sorta like a high rated DT pretty much saying that he was”guided” not to be impressive on the benchpress last year. He doesn’t have the great first step you like, but 2 years ago, he was fast. If Mark believes, so do I. If not, JJ Watts is showing some dominat skills, trading up is a very good possibility. In a draft this deep in DE, we need to get a Good’un!! IMO. And we should, it is the best position of this draft. There are potential starters into the second round.

  6. Capt.Tim Says:

    Early word I’ve heard on Heyward is that he is solid, but lacks elite speed to be RE. Probably gonna be great LE. Read that at my favorite draft spot. But the Combine could change that opinion some. Still a lot of numbers and tape to crunch before finally ratings are done. I personally think Heyward would be a very good RE. He’s not slow, and has above average strength- he’ll power thru where many can’t.

  7. Teddy Says:

    Hunter, Christian Ballard played DT at Iowa, and I don’t think we’ll be drafting another DT. Broderick Binns played DE opposite Clayborn.

  8. Travis Says:

    Joe, whats your obsession with Clayborn’s “hands”? His hands are more more impressive than say Justin Houston, Kerrigan, Aldon Smith, etc. All much more athletic explosive pass rushers.

  9. tj Says:

    Cam heyward is better than him look at the sugar bowl

  10. Joe Says:


    Joe detailed Clayborn’s hands in a previous post that you can dig out using the archives.

  11. gitarlvr Says:

    Clayborn would be great for the Buccaneers….as their power, run stuffing, left defensive end with some pass rush. He is probably not going to be a truly elite edge rushing right end and the Bucs need one of those before they worry about left end. For that matter Ryan Kerrigan is not a true edge rusher compared to some other guys and could end up as a left end himself. Robert Quinn, Justin Houston and Aldon Smith. Those are the guys that belong at right end. Clayborn’s “good hands” are nice but a RE needs explosive speed as much as they need good hands. Heyward, Clayborn, Jordan, Watt- none of those guys seem to have the explosive edge rush the Bucs need from their right end. All those guys look more like 4-3 LE’s or 3-4 5 techs. at this point.

  12. gotbbucs Says:

    gitarlvr, todays nfl left tackles are too athletic to just run the horn and get to the qb. counter moves and good technique mean everything. i see gaines adams failure didnt teach people anything. overall i think this draft is deep with 2nd tier de’s

  13. gitarlvr Says:

    gotbbucs- So what are you saying? That its ok to draft guys to play right end who cant run the horn? An elite right end needs to be able to run the horn effectively and have some inside moves. The pass rush moves can be taught. The speed and explosiveness can’t.

  14. The D Says:

    I personally like Aldon Smith. He may be inexperienced and had an injury last year, but he has great size and speed, great pass rush moves, and wicked hands. Not as good as Clayborn’s, but still very good. I think Smith is who the Bucs imo. Not entirely impressed with Houston because all he does is speed rush with little technique. Quinn is the same but has a good rip move, and Kerrigan just has a great motor but is a little reckless.

  15. gotbbucs Says:

    any d-end can run the horn, gitarlvr, just look at stylez white. you cant ignore the trend of the style of defensive ends that dominik has been collecting in the last two years. i dont see any tall bean poles with fast 40’s like you’re looking at.

  16. Capt.Tim Says:

    I think the best fit for our defense is Robert Quinn, Cameron Jordan, and Adrian Smith, in that order. Bowers should be on top that list, but I’m not signing on to another Clemson DE for awhile. At this point both Quinn and Jordan are projected to be gone in the top 12. But you never know. It’s early. Plus the Bucs mission is a DE ( or two), and An OLB(or two). Trading up to get a top De is very possible, as HGO said. Gonna be a lot of debate over the next 2 months.

  17. gotbbucs Says:

    there aren’t any de’s in this class without question marks so i guess it’s a case of personal preference. i’ll take a shorter de with middle of the road speed and more power before i’ll take one with a fast 40 and less core strength.

  18. gotbbucs Says:

    aldon smith and houston just remind me too much of gaines adams and thats a scar on my view of speed rushers that will probably never leave my memory. i think the days of pure speed rushers is gone imo.

  19. Hunter Says:

    Teddy, my bad, but he will probably be drafted as a DE…

  20. Pete Dutcher Says:

    There are several possibilities here, but I will mention just two:

    1) If Adrian Clayborn’s stock drops, the Bucs would much rather get their DE in the second round over the first round.

    2) Dominick and Morris are proving themselves to be masters in the later rounds. Don’t be surprised if we do not see DEs taken until the 3rd-5th rounds. These two could find talent anywhere.

  21. Tom Says:

    I agree 100% with Justin.

    Naturally, I disagree with Joe’s inflated opinion of Clayborn which is likely based on the fact that Joe saw Clayborn high in a mock draft one day and thought that means he must be a catch if Kiper/McShay thought so last summer. Problem is, he played his senior year and made a great case that his junior year was a fluke.