Scouting Report: If I were writing this for the 2010 NFL draft, it would look very different. During the 2009 season the Iowa Hawkeyes Adrian Clayborn was all but unblockable and showed a level of intensity and tenacity that had me putting him high in the first round last preseason. Then came the 2010 season and Clayborn underwhelmed. From a physical standpoint, I compare Clayborn to Da'Quan Bowers, they are so similar in height and weight. But Clayborn takes a hit this year because he doesn't carry the weight nearly as well as Bowers. Not sure if this is an issue of conditioning or just body type but he looks far less lean than Bowers. From a gameplay standpoint, Clayborn is a nice prospect because he looks to be capable of playing Defensive End in either a 3-4 or a 4-3 defense, or as a Defensive Tackle in the 4-3. From a technique standpoint Clayborn is a mixed bag. He needs to be more consistent with how high he plays, which for a guy with such a low center of gravity shouldn't be a problem. He shows nice instincts in the run game, and does a nice job dissecting the play, getting to the ball, but he doesn't always show good form when he finishes.
Draft Status: I have to think that Clayborn is still a first round prospect, but many disagree. I think with several 3-4 teams picking in the bottom third of the round, he'll find a home among the first round picks.
Final Analysis: I've watched Clayborn very closely and I think he has a bright future in the NFL. He's got a nice burst off the ball and good quickness. He's got a strong upper body and knows how to use his arms to work bigger, stronger linemen. His future is firmly in the league getting after the quarterback, assuming he can regain that form from 2009. He's showed great agility and great anticipation. He doesn't have a lot of pass rush moves, and that's something he'll have to learn. The biggest knock on him will be the 2010 season when his production fell off so much. I personally am counting on him getting coached up, getting in better shape and becoming a dominant DE for a 3-4 defense.
Reminds me of: Darnell Dockett DE/DT Arizona Cardinals - Versatile Defensive Lineman whose strength is rushing the passer and took some time to find his game in the NFL. He changed positions a couple of times, and had some questions about his conditioning. But he finally beefed up and found a spot. Clayborn has every bit the potential that Dockett had coming out of Florida State.
Red Flags: None
Scouting Report written by Curt Popejoy