2011 NFL Draft Player Profile | Adrian Clayborn
Former Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn may have some character concerns (he recently pleaded guilty to assaulting a cab driver), but few doubt his ability on the football field.
Clayborn recorded 184 tackles and 19 sacks throughout his four year collegiate career.
He was a four-star recruit coming out of Webster Groves, Missouri, in 2006, and won the Orange Bowl MVP award as a redshirt sophomore in 2008 after picking up nine tackles with a pair of sacks.
If Clayborn is able to keep his head on straight, he has the type of talent that a team can build their defense around.
Player Name: Adrian Clayborn
Position: Defensive End/Defensive Tackle
Arm: 32 1/2
40 Time: 4.81
Simply put, Clayborn is a dominant force in the backfield. He excelled in stopping the run in college, as his combination of a wide frame and great strength made him very tough for offensive linemen to deal with. He’ll never give up on a play, and is deceptively quick for a guy that weighs 285 pounds. Clayborn would be at his best as a 3-4 down lineman in the NFL, likely as an end playing in a five technique. One of his greatest assets is his explosiveness off the snap that he often uses to knock linemen off balance. He’s also great at using his hands and his lower body strength to help himself shed blocks. Clayborn is a guy that won’t overwhelm you on paper, but his impact on the game is evident when watching him. He’s a consistent nuisance in the backfield, and has both the skills and physique necessary to succeed in the NFL.
Clayborn’s biggest criticism is that his skills aren’t typical of an NFL pass rushing defensive end. He has decent primary moves, but relies too much on his brute strength as a pass rusher. He can bully your everyday college offensive lineman, but will struggle to overpower many NFL blockers. His mechanics could use some work, and he isn’t as fast as your standard pass rushing defensive end. As touched on above, his skills may limit him to playing in the NFL as a 3-4 defensive end. He played some defensive tackle at Iowa, but lacks the width to play the position effectively in the pros. If he can learn to dip his shoulder and rotate his hips better when working against linemen, he’ll be a real menace on the defensive front.
By all accounts, Clayborn is worthy of being a top 10 pick in April’s draft. In the NFL, 3-4 defensive ends are typically depended upon to stifle the run. However, Clayborn is talented enough to make things happen despite any physical disadvantage. Pass rushing isn’t his strong suit, but if he’s playing as a 3-4 end as a pro, he won’t be depended upon too much in that regard. He’ll likely start his career as a defensive end, but if he’s able to put on some weight, he could eventually become a tackle. Keet Bailey has Clayborn going 10th overall to the Washington Redskins in his first three-round mock draft, and he could rise before April comes around.
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Video Courtesy of Aaron Aloysius of DraftBreakdown.com.