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  1. #1
    eldfan's Avatar
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    Considering Clausen for the Rams next QB

    Considering Clausen for the Rams next QB
    by VanRam on Nov 24, 2009 3:58 PM CST in 2010 NFL Draft 35 comments

    Ok, with Bulger's tibia fracture barely days old and the (likely) end of his career with the St. Louis Rams, it's time to start talking QB of the future. Not that we haven't been talking about that since the last draft, but such chatter earned a new lease on life with Bulger's injury.

    Carneros got it started yesterday with this post, and I'm going to feed the fire some more today. First, a quick review of the Rams QB options moving forward. Boil it down to the essence, and the Rams have three options at QB for 2010: 1) sign a free agent (personally, I like Jason Campbell if they go this route), 2) draft a QB or 3) keep one of the in-house options, Bulger (if he can return) or Boller. Note that 2 and 3 are not mutually exclusive.

    And now, I submit for your consideration Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen.

    With Sam Bradford on the mend, Clausen is racing to the top of draft boards, at least among QBs. I think he'll be the first QB taken in the draft. I guess we'll have to see how much fan damage he incurred on a punch to the face this weekend. Will the Rams take him? Should the Rams take him?

    Why Clausen?

    Let's start with the stats, more specifically, the stats that can tell us something about success at the next level. According to the Lewin Career Forecast, the two most important things to look at when trying to gauge NFL success are a QBs career starts and completion percentage.

    Clausen's a junior this year. He took over starting duties early in his freshman year, true freshman year, and ended up starting in nine games, and started every game in two seasons since then. For his college career, he has a 62.2 percent completion rate, a stunning 67.3 percent this season.

    His TD to INT ratio of 23-4 speaks to his accuracy as a QB.

    One thing I like about him is his ability to find receivers and create plays where others cannot. That's something the Rams have really been missing. Yes, St. Louis lacks the established talent at WR, but after watching this season of west coast offense move forward in fits and starts, it would be wise to have a QB that could find receivers or even go through the reads.

    I'm not qualified to judge much about college players, especially the "intangibles". Talk of Clausen's acumen for the game, ability to read defenses and assuredness resonate for a long suffering fan of this team. Here are a couple of scouting reports from FFToolbox and Walter Football.

    As a junior, there's still no gaurantee that Clausen will declare for the draft this year. I'd be pretty shocked if he didn't given the fact that his stock is skyrocketing. In fact, with Bradford unlikely to be ready for the Combine, I wonder if Clausen does separate himself from the rest of the QB class enough to make teams seriously consider a trade up to into the top five. Those kind of moves are getting rarer lately, but anything can happen once the hype machine kicks into high gear.

    Oh, and he plays in a West Coast style offense at Notre Dame. He fits the bill for the Rams in that sense and seems to pass Spagnuolo's four pillars test.

    Is this an official endorsement? No, I'm not ready to commit to that just yet. I still think Clausen is a guy to keep your eye on if the Rams do opt for a QB with their top pick in the draft.

    :ramlogo:

  2. #2
    RAMarkable is offline Registered User
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    Re: Considering Clausen for the Rams next QB

    From what I've been able to gather so far, if the Rams go QB with their frist pick, it's Clausen all the way.

    Bradford is too questionable with his post-surgical shoulder and Jake Locker, Colt McCoy, Tim Tebow?...Please.

    I've just voted for Ndamakong Suh on Av's poll but I am going to keep an open mind about Mr. Clausen.
    Heh...hard to believe but I think I just spelled Mr. Suh's first name correctly?

    Yep it's going to be a good day....

    WHAT SAY YE?

  3. #3
    RebelYell's Avatar
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    Re: Considering Clausen for the Rams next QB

    How can you say it's Clausen when Billy D says they won't start looking at any prospects from any position until after the season is over?

  4. #4
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    Re: Considering Clausen for the Rams next QB

    I don't think any of the QB's coming out this year are worthy of the top 5 picks of the draft. Clausen's only attribute over McCoy or Tebow really is the fact he plays in a West Coast Offense. So what? He was in the shotgun quite a bit against UConn. He can't beat Navy. He can't make the big play when it's needed. Sure he's accurate but he's accurate playing one pansy team after another and still goes 6-5.

    Suh is the pick, or should be.

  5. #5
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    Re: Considering Clausen for the Rams next QB

    Quote Originally Posted by txramsfan View Post
    I don't think any of the QB's coming out this year are worthy of the top 5 picks of the draft. Clausen's only attribute over McCoy or Tebow really is the fact he plays in a West Coast Offense. So what? He was in the shotgun quite a bit against UConn. He can't beat Navy. He can't make the big play when it's needed. Sure he's accurate but he's accurate playing one pansy team after another and still goes 6-5.

    Suh is the pick, or should be.
    Only attribute west coast offense really? How about the fact that he has more 4th quarter comebacks than both combined. How is that not making the big play? His junior year he has had more comebacks than Matty Ice did his Senior year at Boston College. How about the fact that he has a stronger arm than Teebow and McCoy. How about the fact that he has thrown the same amount of INTs as Teebow in about 170 more attempts. How about How about the fact that he has the worst line in the bunch. McCoy is in the shotgun all the time and most of the time he is just throwing the short stuff with high completion rate. Claussen has great pocket awareness. McCoy and Teebow make plays with there feat under pressure, but Claussen under pressure keeps the play alive and makes the right throws down field without forcing it and throwing INTs. Colt McCoy hasn't played a good defense all year. His toughest test was an Oklahoma team without Sam Bradford. He had his worst game of the year throwing for an abysmal 127 yards along with a pick. Jimmy Claussen plays like that ND is geting betting by 65. Claussen has at least played USC and was one slipping WR from getting another miraculous 4th quarter comeback again. He also played Pits tough defense. How did he do those 2 games 5 total TDs and 1 interception.Is it his fault Notre Dames defense is horrible while he is leading a top ten college Offense. Give Claussen Teebow or even McCoys defense and there is no way he going 6-5. IMO they are all great leaders and tough Kids. Florida and Texas great programs in the National spotlight, but can you really say they face more pressure than the starting QB of Notre Dame? he has his own network for Pete sake. He is pro ready and it is proven guys in Pro style offense and with good intangibles are more ready to step in and play. Look at Matt Ryan who played with less than elite talent WCO and that really prepared him for the grind of the NFL. Even though Ryan was senior they both have about the same amount of attempts.

    Well anyways IMO Jimmy Claussen is a top 5 pick and he has all the attributes you look for in a Franchise QB.

  6. #6
    txramsfan's Avatar
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    Re: Considering Clausen for the Rams next QB

    Well, when your only stiff competition is USC and you usually get waxed doesn't really bode well in my book. Clausen is overrated as far as I am concerned. However, to you he isn't.

    Aren't message boards great?



    Honestly 39, you make very valid points however I will have to say that most of the ND pressure is overrated. I went to the Washington State game because it was in San Antonio but the only time I have really sat down and watched ND play this year the full game on tv is UConn. Most people in this part of the state haven't watched ND at all. They are up against the SEC and Big 12 viewing and it's not compelling to watch ND play Purdue when you have LSU v Alabama on. The pressure at ND is way overrated. It isn't the same as it was in the 70's and 80's. Yes, McCoy didn't have a good game against Oklahoma but I would say he led them to a win is very significant.

    When it comes down to it, no one realllllllly knows what will happen to these guys and personally I hope most succeed. Word has it Tebow is sort of a prima donna that's why McCoy and Bradford bonded so well last year in NYC. They were snubbed by Tebow.
    Last edited by txramsfan; -11-25-2009 at 05:05 PM.

  7. #7
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    Re: Considering Clausen for the Rams next QB

    Quote Originally Posted by txramsfan View Post
    Well, when your only stiff competition is USC and you usually get waxed doesn't really bode well in my book. Clausen is overrated as far as I am concerned. However, to you he isn't.

    Aren't message boards great?



    Honestly 39, you make very valid points however I will have to say that most of the ND pressure is overrated. I went to the Washington State game because it was in San Antonio but the only time I have really sat down and watched ND play this year the full game on tv is UConn. Most people in this part of the state haven't watched ND at all. They are up against the SEC and Big 12 viewing and it's not compelling to watch ND play Purdue when you have LSU v Alabama on. The pressure at ND is way overrated. It isn't the same as it was in the 70's and 80's. Yes, McCoy didn't have a good game against Oklahoma but I would say he led them to a win is very significant.

    When it comes down to it, no one realllllllly knows what will happen to these guys and personally I hope most succeed. Word has it Tebow is sort of a prima donna that's why McCoy and Bradford bonded so well last year in NYC. They were snubbed by Tebow.
    I like Claussen, but living in Connecticut I couldn't root for him and I'm kind of glad he lost. Anyways you should watch more of Claussen Washington state stinks I don't think he even played the whole game. Overrated we will agree to disagree there.

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    richtree's Avatar
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    Re: Considering Clausen for the Rams next QB

    Claussen and PIke (on TV NOw) are pro QB's .

    McCoy and Locker don't have the same "pro" type qualities

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    Re: Considering Clausen for the Rams next QB

    Quote Originally Posted by richtree View Post
    Claussen and PIke (on TV NOw) are pro QB's .

    McCoy and Locker don't have the same "pro" type qualities
    how can you say that confidently when both Pike and McCoy play in the Spread and we can't really see how well they would adjust to a pro style offense like the one Clausen or Locker play in.

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    richtree's Avatar
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    Re: Considering Clausen for the Rams next QB

    Pike has size and a strong arm. McCoy is not strong armed and he is accurate but he is more like Rex Grossman.

    Sanchez is the better version of McCoy and he can't succed in year one, no way McCoy can.

    Pike is big and I think his stock will rise and he will end up in top 15 picks.

    Claussen and Bradford have Nfl qualities of pocket pressence, arm strenght, and accuracy.

    Locker is slipping every game. He seems to be more of a athelete that runs the ball and depends less on his QB/displine skills.

    Locker is gonna be a bust.
    No Question.

    He is more like Teabow a great college QB that can sit and chuck it in the big leagues.

    Am I missing something?

    I think if the Rams were playing in the superbowl and I had to choose a QB this would be the ranks.


    1. Classen
    2. Pike (could be 1)
    3. Bradford (healthy, could be higher)

    4. McCoy (distance from top 3)
    5. Not Locker

  11. #11
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Considering Clausen for the Rams next QB

    Quote Originally Posted by richtree View Post
    Pike has size and a strong arm.
    Not too sure about this one. Pike has height, sure. But he doesn't have great bulk for his 6'6" frame, and my impression from watching him in the Big East (remember, WVU alum here) is that his arm isn't particularly strong.

    Quote Originally Posted by richtree View Post
    McCoy is not strong armed and he is accurate but he is more like Rex Grossman.
    I agree McCoy doesn't have a great arm, and I think his accuracy is inflated to some degree through the system. I wouldn't consider him in the first round, at this point. If he's there in the second, I think you have to take a look. I'm quite interested to see how he throws at the Senior Bowl and Combine.

    Quote Originally Posted by richtree View Post
    Sanchez is the better version of McCoy and he can't succed in year one, no way McCoy can.
    I don't think the Jets drafted Sanchez simply for Year One, nor would the Rams draft a QB just for Year One success. The idea behind drafting a franchise quarterback is sustained success over a many seasons.

  12. #12
    PeoriaRam's Avatar
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    Re: Considering Clausen for the Rams next QB

    Quote Originally Posted by 39thebeast View Post
    Only attribute west coast offense really? How about the fact that he has more 4th quarter comebacks than both combined. How is that not making the big play? His junior year he has had more comebacks than Matty Ice did his Senior year at Boston College. How about the fact that he has a stronger arm than Teebow and McCoy. How about the fact that he has thrown the same amount of INTs as Teebow in about 170 more attempts. How about How about the fact that he has the worst line in the bunch. McCoy is in the shotgun all the time and most of the time he is just throwing the short stuff with high completion rate. Claussen has great pocket awareness. McCoy and Teebow make plays with there feat under pressure, but Claussen under pressure keeps the play alive and makes the right throws down field without forcing it and throwing INTs. Colt McCoy hasn't played a good defense all year. His toughest test was an Oklahoma team without Sam Bradford. He had his worst game of the year throwing for an abysmal 127 yards along with a pick. Jimmy Claussen plays like that ND is geting betting by 65. Claussen has at least played USC and was one slipping WR from getting another miraculous 4th quarter comeback again. He also played Pits tough defense. How did he do those 2 games 5 total TDs and 1 interception.Is it his fault Notre Dames defense is horrible while he is leading a top ten college Offense. Give Claussen Teebow or even McCoys defense and there is no way he going 6-5. IMO they are all great leaders and tough Kids. Florida and Texas great programs in the National spotlight, but can you really say they face more pressure than the starting QB of Notre Dame? he has his own network for Pete sake. He is pro ready and it is proven guys in Pro style offense and with good intangibles are more ready to step in and play. Look at Matt Ryan who played with less than elite talent WCO and that really prepared him for the grind of the NFL. Even though Ryan was senior they both have about the same amount of attempts.

    Well anyways IMO Jimmy Claussen is a top 5 pick and he has all the attributes you look for in a Franchise QB.
    Considering how highly ranked Notre Dame's recruiting classes are, lack of talent is NEVER an excuse for a career losing record as a starter.

    Having 4th Quarter comebacks are nice. Needing to stage a 4th Quarter comeback to defeat teams like Purdue raises alarming red flags.

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    mtah6245 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Considering Clausen for the Rams next QB

    I got news for you Billy D from what I saw sunday in this years version of the rams this season is over. Bill D get a reality check, start evaluating talent for the upcoming draft now.

  14. #14
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    Re: Considering Clausen for the Rams next QB

    Thankyou for posting this Eld, besides reading this haven't even looked or thought about any draft picks for the Rams just yet but by reading and watching Clausen I think right now he would be a leading canidate for my vote but just now is to early to be certain like you said, good thing we are more than likely going to be drafting the beginning of this draft again to possibly maybe take our successful franchise QB of the Future

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    Re: Considering Clausen for the Rams next QB

    Pike - barely beating out a freshman. That concerns me greatly.

    McCoy would benefit from having a year to mentor. To me he's FAR more like Drew Brees than Mark Sanchez. I can't even see how those compare really. Compare the scouting reports coming out for both McCoy and Brees, they are virtually identical. Neither can throw the deep ball but both excel at throwing short and intermediate routes with great accuracy and have enough scrambling ability and pocket presence to avoid sacks. Both lack size but make up for it on the field.

    Locker supporters have a list of excuses why he isn't playing well and they list a strong arm and speed at running as his best attributes. Problems are that his speed isn't avoiding sacks (it's well documented he's horrible in the pocket at avoiding pressure) and his strong arm throws a hell of a lot of interceptions.

    Bradford has size, accuracy, enough arm strength and finds the open man. His primary problem is health and he's supposed to be 100% by the combine. He voluntarily took the surgical route to make sure it wasn't a chronic problem.

    Clausen = Bradford without the maturity. I'm worried about Clausen's lack of maturity and decision making OFF the field. Other than that, on the field there is very little to question about his play.

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