Scouting Report-Clausen to me has the look of an NFL quarterback. He's got ideal NFL size, and just watching him throw, there's little to critique. He's got a tight, fast release, good upper body mechanics and more than adequate arm strength. From a technical standpoint, Clausen is excellent at reading defenses and making good decisions on the field. He knows when to take something off a throw and shows excellent touch on the short/intermediate balls and gets plenty of air under his deep throws. From an intangibles standpoint, Clausen is a leader on the field, shows a ton of poise, and always looks in control and commands his team. Clausen plays out of a pro style offense and that is a huge advantage he has over other top quarterback prospects. He's a student of the game and has no problem putting in lots and lots of time on the practice field and in the film room to get better. On the downside, for a kid out of a West Coast offense he needs to improve his footwork, especially under pressure and needs to get better selling the playaction fake. But compared to his peers he's way ahead. He also needs to learn to be a little more pocket aware as far as stepping up, keeping his head up field and making the throw rather than break contain and scrambling if he doesn't need to, although he does throw well on the run, and is nimble enough to get some yards with his feet.
Draft Status-If Clausen declares, I have a hard time not seeing him as the first quarterback off the board, which means a top 3 pick. He's more NFL ready than Locker or Bradford or Tebow, and he should have a really solid offseason. There are only a couple of the 5 worst teams that don't need a QB so him going no.1 overall isn't out of the question.
Final Analysis-Clausen's career at Notre Dame got off onto an interesting start, but the past two seasons he's been all that's advertised. While he doesn't have a single feature you can point too, like a huge arm, or great mobility, there are very few holes in his game, and his intangibles are really off the charts. It's like he does everything really well but nothing really exceptional, and in this NFL you need guys without big flaws. The speed of the NFL game looks to be the one thing Clausen will have to contend with, but he should be able to adjust.
Reminds me of: Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons-He probably doesn't have the quite the arm strength if Ryan, but in terms of a skill set and physical stature they are very similar. Also, in terms of leadership and poise, both are very similar.
Scouting Report written by Curt Popejoy