The highly regarded prep prospect initially made his way onto the field as a long snapper for the Ducks. His instincts and physicality quickly made him one of Oregon's top reserve linebackers, and once given an opportunity to start he quietly proved more consistently effective than more highly publicized teammates Dion Jordan, Kiko Alonso and John Boyett, among others. He led the Ducks in tackles each of the past two seasons, averaging 101 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss and three sacks during that time.
At his size, Clay will have to find a niche in the NFL in much the same fashion as he did at Oregon -- on special teams first and then by proving his critics wrong with his speed and big-hitting as an all-around defender.
Good field vision (especially considering his height), showing the ability to quickly locate the ball. Generally reliable open-field tackler who shows surprising ability as a striker. Good awareness and overall athleticism in coverage and may even draw some interest from teams as a safety.
Weaknesses: Obvious size limitations. Is an active, alert pass defender but can be simply overmatched against bigger tight ends. Will come in out of control, on occasion, allowing patient runners opportunities for cut-back lanes. Was featured in an incredibly fast Oregon defense that may have enhanced his own speed while limiting the drawbacks of his less-than-ideal size.
Compares To: DeAndre Levy, LB, Detroit Lions