Draft analyst are scurrying around this time of the year , setting up scouting reports and mock drafts aplenty. Its their time of the year to go all out and try to figure out the next superstars in the NFL. There are some big names that get involved in this process, and then there is Mel Kiper Jr.
Mel Kiper has been a draft analyst for ESPN since 1984 , one of the more well known names of the draft process. Every year on ESPN Kiper and fellow draft anaylst Todd McShay debate on the top college prospects coming into the NFL via the draft was. One year in particular their debating had got very interesting in regards of who the top quarterback in the 2010 draft was. On a telecast of ESPN’s NFL Live Mel Kiper made the bold statement that if Jimmy Clausen wasn’t a successful quarterback that he would retire from his job. Todd McShay then asked for a time frame , Kiper gave him eight years. Well here we are ladies and gentlemen , eight years later. The question is , how has Clausen performed in this time frame?
Lets take a look into the career of Jimmy Clausen. Comin out of college Clausen was an accomplished football player in some regards. He had showed improvement over the course of his college career with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Many scouts projected Clausen as a top 10 draft pick in the 2010 draft. at Note Dame Clausen had career numbers of 8,148 yards passing , 60 touchdown passes with 27 interceptions , and a 62.6 completion percentage.
Scouts where enamored with his skill set, strong arm with accuracy and athletic ability to scramble. The negatives were solid, but not amazing arm strength and a cocky attitude that seemed too cocky. Making him seem arrogant at times. Still Kiper had Clausen ranked his fourth best prospect in the 2010 draft.
. With the first overall pick in the 2010 draft Quarterback Sam Bradford was selected by the then Saint Louis Rams. The next Quarterback to come of the draft board was Florida Gators superstar Tim Tebow by the Denver Broncos with the 25th pick in the first round. Clausen had to wait until the 48th pick overall, the 16th pick in the second round, to hear his named called by the Carolina Panthers.
With the Panthers Jimmy Clausen sat behind Matt Moore to start the season, but seen playing time quickly due to inconsistency displayed by Moore. Clausen made his first start career start against the Cincinnati Bengals. Clausen went 16/33 for 188 yards , throwing an interception and fumbling three snaps from center Ryan Kahil. Clausen made his second start the following week against the New Orleans Saints throwing his first career touchdown pass. Altogether Jimmy Clausen completed 52.2 percent of his passes with 1,558 yards 3 passing touchdowns and 9 interceptions his rookie year. The Panthers finished with the number one pick in the 2011 draft and picked Auburn Qb Cam Newton , whom started week one and never looked back. Derek Anderson was signed to be the backup to Newton, leaving Clausen as the 3rd string Qb. Jimmy Clausen has spent time with the Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens in his short, brief career.
As we approach the 2018 draft , we have to wonder if Mr. Kiper wil keep up his end of the deal and retire. Then again he could go for double or nothing.