Clausen to the draft, the implications
Written by Curt Popejoy on 11/29/2009
So it's official what we all expected, that Notre Dame star quarterback Jimmy Clausen will test the waters in the NFL draft next April. Honestly, this is a great move for Clausen. He's basically in competition against a group of superstar college quarterbacks with questionable NFL potential. Clausen on the other hand comes from a pro style offense and has shown me what I want to see in an NFL franchise QB. But having said all that, what will this mean come April, and maybe more importantly, for Notre Dame football.
First the draft. Clause should have no problem becoming the first quarterback off the board. Guys like Tim Tebow, Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford come with plenty of NCAA cache', but in terms of NFL strengths and weaknesses, they all have more than Clausen. His potential is high and his skill set is NFL ready. And looking at the top 5, as it stands right now, you have 3 teams, Cleveland Browns, St Louis Rams, and Seattle Seahawks, who would definitely be in the market for a quarterback, and 2 teams, Tampa Bay and Detroit, who drafted a quarterback high last season. In the next 10 pick you have 7 teams who would definitely be looking for a new signal caller. So, in the top 15 picks, you have around 9 teams who'd at least consider Clausen. Depending on how the season ends up, unless the Detroit Lions or Tampa Bay Buccaneers end up no.1 overall, I suspect quarterback will be the pick, and that means Clausen. This will also mean all the other top quarterbacks will get pushed down in the round, a a team eyeing a guy like Sam Bradford or Colt McCoy may not have to trade up to get him. Now, if Tampa Bay or Detroit end up no.1 overall, and they go with a player like Ndamukong Suh, DT Nebraska, then the scramble could be on, to go up and get a talent like Clausen.
For Notre Dame things could be dire. It won't be long until Clausen's teammate WR Golden Tate bails for the NFL millions as well, and so whoever they bring in to replace Charlie Weis will need to be sold on the idea they can win without the teams best two players. Good luck with that. Notre Dame already has to contend with diminished prestige on the national stage, and academic standards that will always limit them in terms of talent particularly on defense. Not having Clause and Tate will be brutal to the program. If the AD at Notre Dame wants to bring in a guy like Bob Stoops or Gary Patterson, can they really sway them away from where they are, for that situation?
All in all I think Clausen made the right call. He's NFL ready, super talented, and headed into a draft dying for quarterbacks, and short on NFL ready guys.
Last Edited: 11/29/2009