Jimmy Clausen-QB-#7-Notre Dame
Projected Round: 1st-Top 10
Pro Comparison: Drew Brees.
Accuracy: Clausen is the most accurate QB in this year’s class. He is a tremendously polished QB who does not miss receivers. Has the ability to put it anywhere it needs to be. Leads his receivers well. Not afraid to throw into a tight window.
Arm Strength: Clausen’s arm is well above average though it is not elite. Does posses the ability to make all the throws. Short and intermediate routes have great zip on them and get on the receiver in a hurry. Deep ball has a tendency to float at times, but he does have the power to get it 65-70 yards downfield.
Decision Making: Has matured greatly in his decision making. Very seldom tries to force a throw that isn’t there. Needs to make his reads faster post snap. Reads the coverage well pre-snap to identify his primary route. Has a great feel for where to throw. Very adept at when to throw the ball away.
Field Vision: Clausen makes his own reads pre-snap and identifies the coverages at the line, a rarity in today’s college game. He sees the field well and easily identifies when to take his check down receiver. Does not miss a receiver breaking open.
Mechanics: Clausen is very technically and fundamentally sound. Posses a short, compact release that gets the ball out of his hand in a hurry. Throwing motion fluid and releases the ball high, preventing batted balls. Very sound and fluid in his drop backs.
Mobility: Clausen will never be confused for a running QB. Foot speed is well below average. Does possess a good ability to escape the rush and move in the pocket but is not a threat to run for any big gains. Solid at throwing on the run.
Pocket Awareness: Perhaps the biggest improvement Clausen has made in his time at Notre Dame is his ability to feel the rush. Moves well in the pocket and understands when it is time to take off. Good at avoiding the rush and still getting the throw off. Not afraid to stand in and take the hit to make the play.
Agility: Solid lateral agility while moving in the pocket for a QB that is not a running threat. Not a danger to make anyone miss in the open field, but uses what he has well in sliding in the pocket and moving side to side to make a throw.
Final Word: Clausen is a big game QB with a ton of moxie and confidence. His ability to lead late game comebacks and his calmness under fire will excite a lot of NFL teams. He may not be a naturally vocal leader, but his toughness and willingness to play through injuries will earn him the respect of his teammates. He possesses an NFL and elite accuracy that could make him a multiple Pro Bowl player in the NFL if he is allowed to develop slowly and learn in his first few NFL seasons.