A bum toe is going to limit Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen at the NFL Scouting Combine.
That means he won’t have a chance to impress the scouts. It also means he won’t have a chance to disappoint.
Clausen’s value is really high right now — he had a stellar 2009 and played in a pro-style offense for a pro-style coach.
Charlie Weis’ departure from Notre Dame virtually guaranteed that Clausen was leaving after his junior season. Clausen wanted to play at a college with a big-time coach who could prepare him for the NFL.
There should be little doubt that Weis prepared Clausen for NFL-level competition. Can Clausen take advantage?
Clausen’s 2009 season — 3,722 yards, 28 TDs, only 4 interceptions — was a pretty good audition for NFL scouts. And many teams are pushing the Fighting Irish QB farther up their rankings because of his experience in an under-the-center, pro-style offense.
They also like his intelligence, competitiveness and toughness.
His measurables, 6-3, 217, are NFL caliber and some say Clausen has an NFL arm. But most draft experts are concerned about release and arm strength.
That said, Clausen’s mobility and accuracy make him a good fit for a West Coast offense and he’s considered a franchise quarterback now by a lot of folks. The other top QB in the 2010 field, Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford, is considered more of a project.
Who picks Clausen?
Draft experts are split on draft slot. Two mock drafts have him going at No. 4 to the Redskins. Two others have him going to the Seahawks, at No. 6 or at No. 23 overall. Another mock has him going to the Bills at No. 9.
Clausen will rocket up draft boards between now and late April, so figure on him being at least a top-10 pick.
2007 — 138-245-6, 1,254 yards, 7 TDs
2008 — 268-440-17, 3,172 yards, 25 TDs
2009 — 289-425-4, 3,722, 28 TDs