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2015 NFL DRAFT
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Adrian Clayborn

| | College: Iowa
 
Copyright NFLDraftScout.com, distributed by The Sports Xchange
Overview

Clayborn was named the 2005 Missouri Player of the Year as a senior tight end/linebacker in St. Louis. That alone was amazing considering doctors did not want Clayborn to play contact sports in high school because of nerve damage suffered in his neck and right arm during the birthing process (a condition referred to as Erb's or brachial palsy). The fact he was named a 2010 Playboy All-American and will likely be an early selection in the 2011 draft could be considered a bit more of a miracle.

Clayborn made sporadic contributions as a redshirt freshman in 12 games in 2007, recording 20 tackles (three solo), two sacks and a blocked field goal. He received 11 calls to start as a sophomore, making 50 tackles (15 solo), eight for loss and two sacks before his breakout junior campaign. His 70 tackles (36 solo) included a whopping 20 for loss and 11.5 sacks, and he also forced four fumbles on his way to first-team All-Big Ten and various other national honors; he was also the MVP of the FedEx Orange Bowl (nine tackles, two sacks in a win over Georgia Tech) and gained national player of the week awards for his punt block for a score in Iowa's upset win over Penn State.

Clayborn's senior season was not what he hoped it would be statistically (seven TFL, 3.5 sacks) but he still was a consensus All-American and first-team All-Big Ten pick. His inability as a senior to be the regular force in the backfield that he was in 2009, even when not drawing double-teams, has put concerns in the minds of some NFL scouts about his ability to be a true difference-maker at the next level. It is likely, however, that at least one team will think it can get his best and draft him in the early rounds.

Analysis

Pass rush: Strong pass rusher able to rips off blocks with violent hands to get the corner. Good closing speed to the quarterback, even after absorbing a big punch from offensive tackles off the snap. Able to break down in space to get his hands on ballcarriers. Tight ends and fullbacks have little chance to handle his strength and strong punch on the edge. Will pause his pass rush to knock a running back off his route into the flat and continue on his path to the quarterback. Pass rush comes from strength and hustle, not an explosive first step that allows him to turn the corner. Does not have counter rush moves and will not be able to swipe aside most starting NFL tackles. Appeared less sudden and relentless in 2010.

Run defense: Active and stout run defender who stays square to the line of scrimmage and often gives a second and third effort. Plays with leverage, able to stack tackles and shed in either direction using strong hands to get to the ballcarrier -- even if pushed off the line a bit by stronger tackles. Feels cut blocks, keeps his eyes up and uses his hands well. Uses his hands to use tackles' momentum against them. Flows through traffic, keeps his feet moving, and separates from linemen with active hands on inside runs. Lowers his shoulder to anchor against pulling guards behind the line to help linebackers stay free. Consistently keeps contain on his side of the line, especially against mobile quarterbacks, and is able to change direction to chase down backs going for the sideline. Lack of height allows larger tackles to engulf him.

Explosion: Doesn't have the typical explosive first step of most rush ends because of his girth and lack of ideal height. He is considered an explosive player against the run and pass, because he has one of the strongest punches and most effective hands in the class.

Strength: Uses his low center of gravity and strong upper and lower body to play with great leverage. Consistently leverages blockers and disengages from blocks with strong and violent hands. Lacks height to block field goals but provides good push and penetration inside; also a factor on punts as protectors cannot handle his strength and quickness.

Tackling: A solid tackler who is very active and stays square and low, but his technique is not always sound. Strong arms allow him to be explosive when coming straight on and force fumbles by ripping or simply creating a big impact. Punches blockers in space to keep them from latching on, stays alive to make a play. Doesn't have great length and will often slip or bounce off ballcarriers; his initial impact might be strong enough to bring down college running back, but NFL runners might have more success staying alive.

Intangibles: Unquestioned emotional leader of the Iowa defense on and off the field. Named a permanent team captain and praised by coaches for his character and work ethic. Teams will check out nerves in his right arm and neck to ensure the Erb's Palsy he suffered at birth is a non-issue. Charged with assaulting an Iowa City taxi driver in January 2009 after reportedly confronting a taxi driver who honked his horn in a traffic jam. Pled guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct in March 2010, but was not suspended by Iowa coaches because they felt the situation required only minor internal penalties.

--Chad Reuter

2010 Season

Consensus All-American . . . first team All-American by AFCA and Walter Camp . . . third team All-America by Associated Press and Phil Steele's College Football . . . honorable mention All-America by Pro Football Weekly . . . first team all-Big Ten by league coaches and media and Phil Steele's College Football . . . selected to compete in 2011 Senior Bowl . . . one of four finalists for Rotary Lombardi Award . . . one of six finalists for Ted Hendricks Award . . . one of 16 semifinalists for Chuck Bednarik Award . . . Permanent Team Captain, Defense . . . Hayden Fry "Extra Heartbeat" Award . . . named Big Ten defensive Player of the Week for his play in 24-3 win over Penn State . . . honorable mention Defensive Performer of the Week vs. Penn State by College Football Performance Awards … started all 13 games and final 30 games of career at defensive end . . . recorded 19 solo tackles and 33 assists, including seven tackles for loss and 3.5 QB sacks.

Started at defensive end in 37-7 opening win over Eastern Illinois as defense allowed just 157 yards total offense . . . recorded four assisted tackles in opening win, including assisted tackle for loss . . . started at defensive end in 35-7 win over Iowa State, recording two solo tackles and one assist, including one tackle for loss and two QB pressures . . . started at defensive end in 34-27 loss at Arizona, recording three solo tackles . . . started at defensive end in 45-0 win over Ball State as defense allowed just 112 yards total offense . . . one solo tackle and four assists vs. Ball State . . . started at defensive end in 24-3 win over Penn State as defense allowed just 54 net rushing yards and 301 yards total offense . . . recorded 10 tackles in earning Big Ten defensive Player of the Week honors vs. Penn State, including three tackles for loss and one QB sack . . . started at defensive end in 38-28 win at Michigan . . . recorded one solo tackle and two assists, including a shared tackle for loss and shared QB sack . . . also blocked a Michigan field goal for third blocked kick of career.

Started at defensive end in 31-30 loss to Wisconsin . . . recorded five tackles vs. Wisconsin, including one QB sack and one QB hurry . . . also had a forced fumble, the seven of his career . . . started at defensive end in 37-6 win over fifth-ranked Michigan State as defense allowed just 31 net rushing yards and 258 yards total offense . . . recorded one solo tackle and two assists vs. MSU . . . started at defensive end in 18-13 win at Indiana as defense allowed just 91 net rushing yards . . . recorded two solo tackles, two assists and a QB pressure vs. Hoosiers . . . started at defensive end in 21-17 loss at Northwestern, recording two solo tackles, including a QB sack . . . also had one QB pressure . . . started at defensive end in 20-17 loss to Ohio State . . . recorded two solo tackles and five assists vs. OSU, along with a pass break-up and a QB pressure . . . started at defensive end in 27-24 loss at Minnesota, recording one solo tackle and one assist . . . started at defensive end in 27-24 Insight Bowl win over 12th-ranked Missouri, recording one solo tackle.

2009 Season

Most Valuable Player in Iowa's 24-14 win over Georgia Tech in FedEx Orange Bowl . . . second team all-College Football Insiders . . . named national Defensive Performer of the Year by College Football Performance Awards . . . Permanent Team Captain . . . Hustle Team Award, Defense . . . third team all-America by Phil Steele's College Football . . . honorable mention all-America by Pro Football Weekly . . . first team all-Big Ten by league coaches and media . . . first team all-Big Ten by Phil Steele's College Football . . . Big Ten co-Defensive Player of the Week for his play in win at Michigan State . . . Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week for his play in win at Penn State . . . AT&T all-America Player of the Week vs. Penn State . . . ESPN.com Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week vs. Penn State.

Started all 13 games at defensive end . . . recorded 36 solo tackles and 34 assists in 13 games, with 20 tackles for loss, 11.5 QB sacks and four forced fumbles . . . started at defensive end in 17-16 win over Northern Iowa . . . recorded one solo tackle and three assists vs. UNI, including a shared tackle for loss and one QB pressure . . . started at defensive end in 35-3 win at Iowa State as defense collected six turnovers . . . recorded two solo tackles and one assist at ISU, and also had one pass break-up . . . started at defensive end in 27-17 win over Arizona as defense allowed just 105 passing yards and 253 yards total offense . . . recorded six tackles vs. Arizona, including one QB sack, a forced fumble and three QB pressures . . . started at defensive end in 21-10 win at Penn State . . . blocked Penn State punt early in the fourth quarter and returned 53-yards for touchdown to give Iowa an 11-10 advantage . . . totaled two assisted tackles to go with the punt block, which earned Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week honors . . . started at defensive end in 24-21 win over Arkansas State as defense allowed just 80 net rushing yards . . . collected two solo tackles vs. ASU, both being QB sacks for a negative 12 yards, and also forced one fumble and had two QB pressures . . . started at defensive end in 30-28 win over Michigan . . . recorded five tackles vs. Wolverines, including one tackle for loss and one QB pressure, and first recovered fumble of his career . . . started at defensive end in 20-10 win at Wisconsin at defense allowed just 87 rushing yards and 243 yards total offense . . . recorded six tackles vs. Badgers, including three solo stops, two tackles for loss and one QB sack . . . started at defensive end in 15-13 win at Michigan State as defense allowed just 85 net rushing yards.

Recorded three solo tackles and one assist, including three tackles for loss and two QB sacks . . . also had a forced fumble in earning Big Ten co-Defensive Player of the Week honors . . . started at defensive end in 42-24 win over Indiana as defense allowed just 79 net rushing yards overall and just three points in the second half . . . recorded seven assisted tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss and a shared QB sack, vs. Hossiers . . . started at defensive end in 17-10 loss to Northwestern as defense allowed just 10 points and 239 yards total offense . . . recorded five tackles vs. Wildcats, including 2.5 tackles for loss and a QB sack . . . started at defensive end in 27-24 overtime loss at Ohio State . . . career-high 12 tackles at OSU, including career-best eight solo stops . . . also had three tackles for loss and a QB sack . . . started at defensive end in 12-0 win over Minnesota as defense allowed just 48 rushing yards and 201 yards total offense . . . recorded five tackles vs. Gophers, including 1.5 tackles for loss and a QB sack . . . also had a forced fumble, a pass break-up and two QB pressures . . . started at defensive end in 24-14 Orange Bowl win over Georgia Tech as defense allowed just 155 yards total offense . . . set career-high with nine solo tackles vs. GA Tech, including two tackles for loss and two QB sacks, earning game MVP honors.

2008 Season

Recorded 50 tackles, including 15 solo tackles and 35 assists . . . Ranked second on the team with eight tackles for loss . . . Listed as first team defensive end following spring practice . . . Started at defenisve end in 46-3 opening win over Maine as defense allowed just 83 passing yards and 220 yards total offense . . . Led team with eight tackles vs. Maine, including two solo stops, eight assists, 1.5 tackles for loss and 2 pass break-ups . . . Started at defensive end in 42-0 win over Florida International as defense allowed just 56 rushing yards and 218 yards total offense . . . Recorded two solo tackles and four assists vs. FIU, including one QB sack . . . Started at defensive end in 17-5 win over Iowa State as defense allowed just 73 rushing yards . . . Recorded seven tackles vs. ISU, including one solo stop and six assists . . . Started at defensive end in 21-20 loss at Pittsburgh, recording one solo tackle, one assist and one QB pressure . . . Started at defensive end in 22-17 loss to Northwestern, . . . Recorded seven assisted tackles, including one for loss, and had one pass break-up vs. Northwestern . . . Started at defensive end in 16-13 loss at Michigan State as defense held second leading rusher in the nation to 91 net rushing yards . . . Recorded three tackles at MSU, including an eight-yard tackle for loss . . . Started at defensive end in 45-9 win at Indiana as defense allowed just 95 rushing yards and 286 yards total offense.

Recorded one assisted tackle before missing the second half . . . Saw limited action in 38-16 win over Wisconsin, but had no statistics . . . Saw action in 27-24 loss at Illinois as defense allowed just 60 net rushing yards . . . Recorded two assisted tackles and one pass break-up at Illinois . . . Started at defensive end in 24-23 win over third-ranked Penn State as defense allowed just 289 yards total offense . . . Recorded six tackles vs. Penn State, including three solo stops and three assists . . . Also had one QB sack for a 19-yard loss that included a caused fumble and had one additional tackle for minus seven yards . . . Caused fumble came on third play of the game and led to Iowa's first touchdown after Penn State recovered at the one-yardline and had to punt into a stiff wind . . . Started at defensive end in 22-17 win over Purdue as defense allowed just 86 net rushing yards . . . Recorded six tackles vs. Purdue, including four solo stops and two assists, including two tackles for loss and one QB pressure . . . Started at defensive end in 55-0 win at Minnesota, but had no statistics as defense allowed just seven rushing yards and 134 yards total offense in posting second shutout of the season . . . Started at defensive end in 31-10 Outback Bowl win over South Carolina as defense allowed just 43 net rushing yards . . . Recorded one solo tackle and one assist vs. South Carolina.

2007 Season

Saw action in opening win over Northern Illinois, but had no statistics as defense allowed just 21 rushing yards and 235 yards total offense . . . saw action in home win over Syracuse, recording one assisted tackle for a one-yard loss as defense allowed just 24 rushing yards and 124 yards total offense . . . saw action on special teams in loss at Iowa State, but had no statistics . . . saw action in loss at Wisconsin, but had no statistics . . . saw action in loss to Indiana, recording one assisted tackle . . . saw action in loss at Penn State, recording one solo tackle on defense and recording a 19-yard KO return . . . saw action in win over 18th-ranked Illinois, but had no statistics . . . saw action in loss at Purdue, recording one solo tackle and one assisted tackle . . . saw action in double OT win over Michigan State . . . recorded four tackles vs. Michigan State, including 1.5 QB sacks and a forced fumble which resulted in the only turnover of the game . . . key sack came in second overtime as MSU failed to score in the second extra period . . . saw action in win at Northwestern as defense allowed just three points, seven rushing yards and 124 yards total offense in the second half . . . recorded four assisted tackles vs. Northwestern, along with a shared QB sack, two QB pressures, one pass break-up and the first blocked field goal of his career . . . saw action in win over Minnesota, recording four assisted tackles . . . saw action in loss to Western Michigan, recording three assisted tackles.

2006 Season

Redshirted.

Agility Tests

Combine: 4.78 40-yard dash; 9'5" broad jump; 33-inch vertical; 4.13 short shuttle; 7.30 3-cone drill.

High School

High school honors - - Missouri Player of the Year as a senior . . . two-time first team all-state and all-conference selection . . . as a senior, earned all-state and all-conference honors as a linebacker and tight end . . . conference Player of the Year as a senior . . . Career - - recorded 240 tackles, five sacks, four forced fumbles and three interceptions in his career . . . had 103 tackles with three sacks, a forced fumble and interception as a senior . . . had 78 tackles, two forced fumbles, one sack and an interception as a junior . . . had 59 tackles, one sack, one fumble recovery and an interception as a sophomore . . . had 42 career receptions for 691 yards and 10 touchdowns as a tight end . . . team captain . . . four-year letterman in football and basketball . . . played power forward in basketball. . . . high school coach was Cliff Ice.

Personal

Born 7/6/88 . . . Open major . . . Parents are Tracie and Richard Clayborn . . . one of three players from St. Louis on Iowa roster

 
Latest News
03/28/2011 - Best of defensive line prospects: Adrian Clayborn, Iowa, 6-3, 281, 1...Clayborn already has overcome long odds to put himself in position to be a potential first-round pick. He suffers from Erb's Palsy, an on-again, off-again paralysis of the upper arm that almost prevented him from ever playing contact sports. Clayborn has played with the condition for years without any obvious side effects, and he was the 2005 Missouri Player of the Year as a tight end/linebacker in St. Louis. With the Hawkeyes, Clayborn emerged as a big-time playmaking end with 20 tackles for loss and 11?? sacks as a junior. His impact plays fell off as a senior but he still earned first-team All-Big Ten honors. He's a relentless pass rusher who uses his lack of height to his advantage in run defense in a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme. Clayborn finished his Iowa career with 30 consecutive starts, 192 total tackles, 37?? tackles for loss and 19 sacks. - Derek Harper & Jeff Reynolds, The Sports Xchange

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