Data Scout Notes: ManningFinalist/PManning/PMaxwell/PO'Brien
Post-Draft Outlook:BEST PICK: Quarterback Jimmy Clausen. The Panthers should be ecstatic to get a guy who was ranked in the top 10 on a lot of boards, including their own, at No. 48.
Round 2/48 -- Jimmy Clausen, QB, 6-3, 222, Notre Dame: The Panthers were ecstatic to have Clausen fall to them at No. 48 since they had him among the top 10 players on their draft board. - by The Sports Xchange
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Throughout Notre Dame's storied history, perhaps no recruit was placed under the microscope like Clausen during his tenure with the Irish.
Former head coach Charlie Weis had a noted reputation for developing quarterbacks, including Tom Brady during his time with the New England Patriots.
Many professional scouts felt that Clausen's ability to master Weis's pro-style offense, make good decisions and his overall competency at the position make him very attractive to quarterback-hungry franchises. He is a classic drop-back quarterback with above-average accuracy, good mechanics and a very quick release. In 2009, despite the offense's struggles, Clausen showed mental and physical toughness and the ability to command the huddle, to keep his team into games well into the fourth quarter.
Weis cites Clausen's ability to "pitch a perfect game," using his quarterback's performance vs. Hawaii in 2008 as an example. That bowl game turned out to be his coming out party. He completed 84.6 percent of his passes, gain 401 yards and connect on five touchdown throws. He would follow that contest by producing seven 300-plus yard performances in 12 games the following season, including 452 yards vs. Navy.
Clausen entered his junior year with high expectations. He made huge strides from his freshman to sophomore year. The quarterback has been no stranger to high expectations. He has been known as a "once in a generation" talent, and the "LeBron James of football," as early as his freshmen year in high school. As a junior, he improved in every statistical category, proving almost unstoppable, regularly carving up opposing defenses.
From an injury-plagued freshman season that saw Clausen's team rank dead-last in the NCAA ranks (119) in total offense (242.25 yards per game) and 116th in scoring (16.42 points per game), the Irish field general showed steady progress at the helm. Notre Dame improved to 65th in the major college ranks with an average of 355.08 yards in total offense and 67th in scoring (24.69 points per game) as a sophomore. It all came together for the quarterback in 2009, as he saw the Irish finish eighth in the country in total offense (451.75 yards per game) and 32nd in scoring (30.08 points per game).
Clausen would go on to become the second quarterback in school history to throw for over 3,000 yards twice in a career (3,722 in 2009 and 3,053 in 2008). In fact, he would join Brady Quinn (3,919 in 2005 and 3,426 in 2006) as the only Irish players to ever generate 3,000 aerial yards in a season at Notre Dame. His 8,146 yards passing rank second only to Quinn's 11,762 on the school's career-record list. He would also join Quinn (240.0 yards per game, 2003-06) as the only quarterbacks to average more than 200 yards per game passing (232.8 yards per game) in Terre Haute.
Clausen's career was a mirror of Quinn's, except in the wins column. His 21 touchdown passes in 2008 and 28 in '09 rank right behind Quinn's 32 (2005) and 37 (2006) scoring strikes on the school's single-season charts. Along with Quinn (95) and Ron Powlus (52, 1994-97), they are the only quarterbacks in school annals to throw for over 50 touchdowns in a career (Clausen finished with 60).
The Irish quarterback showed his patience, timing and pinpoint accuracy. He owns two of the longest streaks in school history -- 132 pass attempts without an interception in 2008 and another long stretch of 160 tosses without having a pass picked in 2009. The only Irish quarterback to top that mark was Quinn, who went 226 throws before having one picked off in 2006.
As the younger brother of two former Division I quarterbacks, Casey and Rick Clausen, who both played at Tennessee, Jimmy gained media attention very early in his football career. Beginning in eighth grade, his parents had him work with professional quarterbacks coach Steve Clarkson. During his high school junior season, a Sports Illustrated feature dubbed Jimmy Clausen "The Kid with The Golden Arm".
Recruiting analysts considered him a "once in a decade" quarterback talent and ranked him as the best overall prospect of the 2007 high school class. Because of his quick release, some in the media compared him to Joe Namath.
The prized recruit never lost a game that he started during his tenure at Oaks Christian High School, finishing with a 42-0 record. He received the Hall Trophy (actually called the Ball Park National High School Player of the Year Award) at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He was named USA Today Offensive Player of the Year, adding National High School Offensive Player of the Year honors from the Touchdown Club of Columbus (Ohio). He was also named Co-Player of the Year by Parade and selected first-team All-American by the publication, along with being named a first-team All-American by Scout.com.
Clausen ranked as the top prospect in the nation by Rivals.com and was named the fourth-best overall national prospect by Super Prep. He was rated the best quarterback in the country and ninth-best prospect on the ESPN 150 list. The Sporting News touted him as the best high school player in the country in 2006 and he earned All-American honors from that publication. He was a finalist for the Sam B. Nicola award, presented annually to the top high school player, and was one of 20 players named to the Best in the West list compiled by the Long Beach Press-Telegram.
Clausen led Oaks Christian to four consecutive CIF-Southern Section championships and tied the longest winning streak in section history, as the Lions won 46 straight games. In his final game, the team defeated Cardinal Newman High School for the state champion-ship and finished season ranked sixth in the nation by USA Today. That season, he hit on 194-of-281 passes (69.1 percent) for 3,428 yards and 49 touchdowns with only six interceptions in fifteen games. He also rushed for seven scores in his final campaign.
For his prep career, Clausen passed for 10,764 yards and a state record 146 touchdowns. He completed 67.8 percent of his attempts, one of the best nationally in high school history, according to the National Federation of High School sports record book. During his junior year, Clausen connected on 156-of-231 passes for 2,778 yards with 30 touch-downs and five interceptions. As a sophomore, he completed 227-of-329 attempts for 3,665 yards, along with 58 touchdowns and six interceptions.
Critics have questioned whether Clausen's success in high school was largely a product of his team. That squad contained almost a dozen players that went on to play for NCAA Division I Bowl Subdivision teams, including a highly-ranked running back, Marc Tyler. Many of these critics pointed to the 2007 U.S. Army All-American Bowl, in which Clausen was outplayed by fellow 2007 quarterback recruit, Ryan Mallett. Further, Clausen's age was a subject of criticism: he started kindergarten at six and repeated sixth grade, thus he was 19-years-old at the time of his early graduation.
In April 2006, Clausen verbally committed to the University of Notre Dame. He was the most highly touted recruit for the Fighting Irish since the arrival of Powlus in 1993. Clausen announced his oral commitment at the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind., after arriving in a stretch Hummer limousine. He also said his goal was to win multiple national titles with the Irish, a dream that he would never come close to realizing.
As a freshman, Clausen started at quarterback in the second game of the season vs. Penn State, the earliest any Notre Dame freshman had started at the position since freshmen regained their eligibility in 1972. He played in ten contests and started nine games during that rookie campaign, completing 138-of-245 passes (56.33 percent) for 1.254 yards, seven touchdowns and six interceptions, but struggled at times, leading to a brief benching later in the year.
Clausen finished second on the school's freshman quarterback season-record lists for completions (Brady Quinn had 157), attempts (Quinn, 332), yards (Quinn, 1,831) and completion percentage (Matt LoVecchio, .584). His seven touchdown passes rank third on Irish freshman quarterback single-season list behind Quinn's nine scores and LoVecchio's eleven strikes.
Better preparation during 2008 preseason camps saw Clausen's numbers improve dramatically during his sophomore season. He averaged 238.08 yards per game in total offense and had a passing efficiency rating of 132.49. He completed 60.91 percent of his passes (268-of-440), gaining 3,172 aerial yards, the fourth-best season total in school history. He more than tripled his touchdown output (from 7 in 2007 to 25 in 2008), but was also picked off 17 times. 43 of his pass completions went for 20 yards or longer.
His progress continued the following campaign. Clausen ranked second in the nation in pass efficiency rating (161.42), third in passing yards (3,722), seventh in touchdown passes (28), fifth in completion percentage (68.0), 10th in completions (289), and 11th in points responsible for per game (15.50).
Clausen was named a finalist for the Manning Award, and semi-finalist for both the Maxwell and Davy O'Brien Awards. His 3,722 aerial yards are the second-highest season total by an Irish quarterback. He also showed some nifty footwork, scoring three times on the ground to finish with 3,627 total yards. What made those figures even more impressive was the fact that he played the final nine games with a nagging right turf toe injury that would require surgery to repair after the season.
Over the past two seasons, Clausen kept the Fighting Irish relevant, as the rushing game and defense struggled to keep pace with the Irish's potent passing game. The numbers bear this out. During the 2008 season, the Irish ranked 100th in total offense, while ranking 34th in passing. In 2009, the offense ranked ninth in the nation in total offense despite ranking 86th in rushing. Clausen clearly was the cog that kept the Irish going. The Irish quarterback finished his career in second place on the Irish all-time list in passing yards (8,148), touchdown passes (60), completion percentage (61.3), total offense (7793), and completions (695).
As a junior, Clausen ranked second in the nation in pass efficiency rating (161.42), third in passing yards (3722), seventh in touchdown passes (28), fifth in completion percentage (68.0), 10th in completions (289), and 11th in points responsible for per game (15.50). Clausen was named a finalist for the Manning award, semi finalist for the Maxwell award, and Davy O'Brien award. He also earned a 3.267 grade-point average in the spring `08 semester. As a sophomore, Clausen ranked 22nd in the nation in passing yardage (3172), seventeenth in touchdowns (25), 15th in completions (268), and 42nd in points responsible for per game (11.54).
Later in the season, it was announced that Weis would not be returning as the team's head coach in 2010. Clausen and fellow All-American, wide receiver Golden Tate, announced a week later that they would forgo their final year of eligibility to enter the 2010 NFL Draft. The quarterback-receiver combination had shared team MVP honors at the Irish banquet.
Accuracy: Very good, but not great, accuracy on short-to-intermediate throws whether over the middle or on the sidelines. Receivers usually have a chance to run after the catch, though he tends to throw high when missing because of his delivery. Fades are generally placed where only his receiver can make the catch, though not always over the correct shoulder. Needs to consistently put deep throws on the outside shoulder of his receiver.
Arm Strength: Enough arm strength to make every necessary NFL throw, but requires great effort to do so. Good zip on crossing or out patterns to either side of the field when in balance. Places in the ball in tight quarters over the middle. Tries to throw too hard at times, and needs to take a bit off short passes and rely on his arm strength to deliver passes without a wind up. His 60-yard deep ball floats, allowing safety help to arrive.
Setup/Release: Well-coached pro-style quarterback with balanced footwork and nice ball carriage. Also effective out of shotgun. Puts strong effort into each pass, sometimes overthrowing. Winds up a bit when trying to unleash a fastball, allowing defenders to react. Drops right shoulder to get better trajectory on deep passes. Needs to better sell ball fake and pump fake to draw in defenders. Able to deliver the ball from different slots when needed, but also gets happy feet if line is struggling to protect him and will throw off back foot. His average height and tendency to wind up could hinder ability to get the ball through the line.
Reading Defenses: Regularly looks off safety before going to his intermediate or deep out. Tended to bird-dog his favorite receiver in 2009, however. Takes too many chances downfield, eschewing his underneath options and trusting his receivers but not acknowledging safety help over the top. Also throws late over the middle or across his body, which he won't get away with in the pros.
On the Move: Good footwork in the pocket, able to shift in any direction to evade rushers and create space and find a passing lane in which to throw. Keeps eyes downfield when pressured out of the pocket, and throws well running to his left or right. Able to run for first downs. Adept at sliding after a run but gives good effort to gain a first down or find the end zone. Needs to secure the ball better when scrambling. A bit late feeling backside pressure, but his internal clock improved this year behind a below-average line.
Intangibles: Fiery, emotional leader is willing to demand the best from his teammates. Intelligent player able to handle any offense. Tough runner who played through broken toe on his plant (right) foot in 2009. Maturity has been a question mark in the past, and he can get salty with coaches and teammates during a game, but no major concerns have arisen.
NFL Comparison: Aaron Rodgers, Packers
Clausen leaves Notre Dame ranked first or second in 32 passing categories, including tops in career completion percentage, completions per game for a career and tied for first in lowest interception percentage over a career...He completed 695-of-1,110 pass attempts for 8,148 yards with 60 touchdowns and 27 interceptions while starting 34 of 35 games played for the Irish...Only Brady Quinn (11,762 yards, 2003-06) threw for more yards in Irish annals...Clausen's 3,722 yards in 2009 and 3,172 yards in 2008 rank third and fourth, respectively, on the school's season-record chart, topped by Quinn's 3,426 in 2006 and 3,919 in 2005...His average of 232.8 yards per game passing placed second to Quinn's average of 240.0 yards on the Irish all-time record chart...He joined Quinn (326.6 yards per game in 2005) as the only players in Notre Dame history to average over 300 yards passing per game in a season (Clausen averaged 310.17 yards per game in 2009)...His average of 17.5 yards per pass completion vs. Nevada in 2009, 15.42-yard average vs. Nevada in 2008 and 13.61-yard mark vs. Washington in 2009 are the three best game averages by an Irish quarterback... His 60 touchdown passes rank behind Quinn's 95 on the school career-record chart...His 25 touchdown tosses (fourth) in 2008 and 28 scoring strikes (third) in 2009 placed behind Quinn (32 in 2005 and 37 in 2006) on Notre Dame's annual record list...Clausen's five touchdown throws vs. Hawaii in 2008 are topped only by Quinn's six scoring strikes vs. Brigham Young (2005) on the school game-record chart...Tied Quinn (39-of-1,602 attempts) for the second-lowest interception percentage in school history (2.43 percent, 27 on 1,110 pass attempts)...His interception percentage of 0.94 percent in 2009 (4-of-425) rank second on the Irish annual record list behind Matt LoVecchio (0.80 percent, 1-of-125 in 2000)...Averaged 222.66 yards per game in total offense, ranking second in school history to Quinn's mark of 243.8 yards...Joined Quinn (334.1 yards per game in 2005) as the only players to average more than 300 yards per game in total offense during a season (averaged 302.25 yards in 2009)...Only the third player in Notre Dame history to gain over 3,000 yards in total offense for a season, generating 3,099 yards in 2008 and 3,627 in 2009...Only Quinn gained more total offense yards in a campaign (4,009 in 2005).
The Irish co-captain earned All-American Dream Team honors from The NFL Draft Report and was a mid-season All-American choice by Sports Illustrated...Finalist for the Manning Award, an award that was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in honor of the college foot-ball accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that takes into consideration the candidates' bowl performances...Was also a semi-finalist for the Davey O'Brien Award and the Maxwell Award...Ranked third in the nation with a 161.42 pass efficiency rating, placed eighth in the major college ranks in total offense (302.25 yards per game) and finished 11th nationally in points responsible for (15.5 points per game)...Completed 289-of-425 passes (68.0 percent) for 3,722 yards and 28 touchdowns...Only three quarterbacks ranked at the FBS level had less interceptions than Clausen's four during 2009 (Jeff Van Kamp of Florida Atlantic-2; Martevious Young of Southern Mississippi-3; Kellen Moore of Boise State-3)...146 of his pass completions gained at least 10 yards, including 46 for 20 yards or longer...178 of those completions produced first downs...Lost 95 yards on 59 carries (minus-1.61 yards per carry), but scored three times on the ground, despite playing most of the year with a right turf toe injury that forced him to wear a plate in his shoe for protection and require that he undergo surgery after the season...Converted 33-of-95 third-down plays, as 32 of his 425 pass attempts were deflected by the opposition...Turned the ball over three times on four fumbles and was sacked 22 times for minus 137 yards..."The fact that the team picked a quarterback, a guy who has the ball in his hands every play, is a very good thing," said head coach Charlie Weis, on junior quarterback Jimmy Clausen being selected as one of four team captains.
A member of the Maxwell Award and Davey O'Brien Quarterback Award Watch Lists, Clausen started all thirteen games for the Irish, ranking 43rd in the nation with a 132.49 pass efficiency rating and 40th with an average of 238.38 yards per game...Became the third player in school history to amass over 3,00 yards in total offense (3,099) in a season...Completed 268-of-440 passes (60.91 percent) for 3,172 yards (joined Brady Quinn as the only players in Irish annals to throw for over 3,000 yards in a season), 25 touchdowns (fourth on the school season-record list) and 17 interceptions...Lost 73 yards on 54 carries (minus-1.35 yards per carry)...Was sacked 21 times and had 44 of his pass attempts deflected by the opposition.
Clausen started nine of the 10 games in which he appeared as a true freshman, taking over the helm in the schedule's second contest vs. Penn State, the earliest any Notre Dame fresh-man had started at the position since freshmen regained their eligibility in 1972...Was benched briefly after he struggled late in the season, sitting out the Southern California and Navy clashes...Only Brady Quinn (12 games in 2003) and Blair Kiel (11 games in 1980) played in more games as an Irish freshman signal-caller...Tied Quinn and Kiel for most starts by a freshman quarterback in school history...Completed 138-of-245 passes (56.33 percent) for 1.254 yards, seven touchdowns and six interceptions...Ranks second on the Irish freshman quarterback season-record lists for completions, attempts, passing yards and completion percentage...His seven scoring strikes rank third on the Irish freshman quarterback list...Had 42 of his pass attempts deflected by the opposition...Scored twice on 62 carries, but lost 187 yards in the process (minus-3.02 ypc), as he was sacked 35 times, including nine times vs. Michigan and six times in each of the Penn State (first career start) and Air Force.
2007 GAME HIGHLIGHTS Penn State...Clausen earned his first collegiate start, responding with 17-of-32 passes for 144 yards and an interception...Found receiver Robby Parris for a 35-yard completion, the longest of the day...Was sacked six times, totaling losses of 25 yards.
Michigan...The freshman was pulverized for 65 yards in losses, as he was sacked a career-high nine times, finishing with 74 yards and one interception on 11-of-17 attempts.
Purdue...Was intercepted once on 18-of-26 tosses for 169 yards, but he connected with tight end on a third quarter 5-yard bubble screen for Clausen's first collegiate touchdown.
UCLA...Ran for a 1-yard touchdown, adding 84 yards on 17-of-27 passes.
Boston College...Was replaced in the second quarter after he managed to complete just 7-of-20 throws for 60 yards and two interceptions in a 20-7 loss.
Air Force...After sitting out the previous two games, Clausen had his best performance for the season, connecting on 22-of-40 attempts for 246 yards and three touchdowns, but lost 39 yards after he was sacked six times.
Duke...Hit David Grimes with a 25-yard scoring strike, finishing the day with 194 yards and three touchdowns on 16-of-32 tosses.
Stanford...Closed out a rocky freshman season by making 19-of-32 throws for 196 yards, but he was intercepted once and sacked five times for minus 22 yards.
2007: On June 23, Clausen was cited for illegal transportation of alcohol in South Bend. He was driving someone who was of legal drinking age to a liquor store to buy alcohol. According to published reports, Clausen entered a pre-trial diversion program which erased the citation since he stayed out of trouble for the next 12 months.
2009: On Nov. 22, Clausen was involved in an altercation outside of a South Bend pub. Sources indicate that Clausen was there with family and teammates following the team's senior day loss to Connecticut. It was reported that upon his departure, he was punched in the face outside of the pub. According to a university source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about the matter, Clausen was at C.J.'s Pub about 2 a.m. with his family and girlfriend. The group decided to leave after words were exchanged with others at the bar. As they were leaving, Clausen's girlfriend realized she left her purse behind. The source says Clausen went back to retrieve the purse and someone followed him outside and punched him. The source says the quarterback did not fight back and left. A South Bend Police Department spokesperson stated that no police report was filed over that weekend involving Clausen. Reports indicate that Clausen was left with a black eye. A later report of this incident indicated that the other subject involved in this incident allegedly shoved Clausen's girlfriend. It was reported that Clausen then shoved the subject away prior to Clausen being punched.
2007: Underwent surgery after 2007 spring drills to remove bone spurs from his right elbow.
2009: Suffered a right turf toe injury vs. Michigan State (Sept. 19) that forced him to miss part of the next week's game vs. Purdue (Sept. 26)...Was forced to wear a protective plate in his shoe the rest of the season...Eventually opted for surgery to repair the injury, undergoing the procedure in early January, 2010, to repair torn ligaments in his right big toe.
Campus: 4.74 in the 40-yard dash...1.68 10-yard dash...2.78 20-yard dash...4.47 20-yard shuttle...7.04 three-cone drill...31-inch vertical jump...8'9" broad jump...Bench pressed 225 pounds 17 times...32-inch arm length...9 1/8-inch hands.
Attended Oaks Christian (Westlake Village, Calif.) High School, playing football for head coach Bill Redell...Never lost a game that he started during his tenure at Oaks Christian High School, finishing with a 42-0 record...Received the Hall Trophy (actually called the Ball Park National High School Player of the Year Award) at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl...Named USA Today Offensive Player of the Year, adding National High School Offensive Player of the Year honors from the Touchdown Club of Columbus (Ohio)...Also named Co-Player of the Year by Parade and selected first-team All-American by the publication, along with being named a first-team All-American by Scout.com...Ranked as the top prospect in the nation by Rivals.com and was named the fourth-best overall national prospect by Super Prep...Rated the best quarterback in the country and ninth-best prospect on the ESPN 150 list...The Sporting News touted him as the best high school player in the country in 2006 and he earned All-American honors from that publication...Finalist for the Sam B. Nicola award, presented annually to the top high school player, and was one of 20 players named to the Best in the West list compiled by the Long Beach Press-Telegram...Led Oaks Christian to four consecutive CIF-Southern Section championships and tied the longest winning streak in section history, as the Lions won 46 straight contests...In his final game, the team defeated Cardinal Newman High School for the state championship and finished season ranked sixth in the nation by USA Today...That season, he hit on 194-of-281 passes (69.1 percent) for 3,428 yards and 49 touchdowns with only six interceptions in 15 games...Also rushed for seven scores in his final campaign...For his prep career, Clausen passed for 10,764 yards and a state record 146 touchdowns...Completed 67.8 percent of his attempts, one of the best nationally in high school history, according to the National Federation of High School sports record book...During his junior year, Clausen connected on 156-of-231 passes for 2,778 yards with 30 touch-downs and five interceptions...As a sophomore, he completed 227-of-329 attempts for 3,665 yards, along with 58 touchdowns and six interceptions.
Sociology major, enrolled in the College of Arts and Letters...Earned a 3.267 grade-point average in the spring 2008 semester...Older brothers, Rick and Casey, both played quarterback at the University of Tennessee...Enrolled at Notre Dame in January 2007...Son of Jim and Cathy Clausen...Born 9/21/87...Resides in Westlake Village, California.
Draft Scout Player News
06/12/14 - QB Jimmy Clausen's first look at the Bears offense gave him some confidence.
"It's a West Coast system; I think that fits me well," he said.
Clausen had a torn labrum last year but deems himself 100 percent healthy now.
"It feels great," he said. "My body is probably the best it's felt since going into my junior year of college before I hurt my toe."
06/05/14 - The Chicago Bears signed quarterback Jimmy Clausen to a one-year contract and waived linebacker Lawrence Wilson.
Clausen spent last season on injured reserve with the Carolina Panthers after suffering a shoulder injury in the preseason finale. He joins a mix of players in Chicago competing for the backup role to Jay Cutler vacated by Josh McCown, who is slated to be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' starter this season.
Jordan Palmer entered the offseason program as the No. 2 quarterback, while the team also spent a sixth-round pick on former San Jose State star David Fales and has Jerrod Johnson on the roster.
"Excited to start a new chapter with the @ChicagoBears !" Clausen tweeted Thursday. "Blessed to have this opportunity and looking forward to getting started!!"
09/02/13 - QB Jimmy Clausen was placed on reserve/injured Sunday.
09/01/13 - QB Jimmy Clausen was waived/injured by the Panthers, so he will be placed on reserve/injured after clearing waivers.
08/31/13 - QB Jimmy Clausen was released by the Carolina Panthers on Saturday as the team got down to the league-mandated 53-player roster to start the season.
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