Has good burst and quickness upfield, showing ability to beat the blocker around the edge. Uses his hands nicely to beat left tackle around the corner. Has a good motor and good burst and speed when chasing the ball in pursuit. Can make plays in backside pursuit and will run down speedy backs. Shows good potential and ability as a bull rusher up the middle due to his superior strength. Is very effective on inside stunts for that bull rushing ability. Shows ability to get off blocks and make the tackle at the point of attack, able to get leverage vs. the run.
Doesn't really have the burst or quickness to beat top left tackles on the edge. Doesn't know how to dip the shoulder, and tends to rely on his hand use to beat blocker around the corner. Doesn't use great hand placement as a bull rusher, and is mostly effective because of his superior strength combined with his quickness to beat blocker. Can get pushed back somewhat considering his size versus the run. At times needs to improve his recognition.
Clayborn is a good player that can potentially play and be an impact player in either the 3-4 or 4-3. He has an excellent combo of size, strength, and quickness. He reminds me of Tyson Jackson quite a bit in that area. He probably best fits in the 3-4 scheme, but could be a solid left end in a 4-3. He needs to refine his technique a bit, but could potentially be a devastating bull rusher. Has enough size and strength that he could presumably kick in inside on passing downs in the 4-3 scheme as well. Overall, Clayborn simply will make plays both vs. the run and the pass and can live in opponents backfields.
WHAT I WANT TO SEE IN 2010:
I'd love to see Clayborn develop that shoulder dip as an edge rusher, but given his size and frame, he's really not built that way where he can get away with that like a lighter, leaning defensive end. I'd also like to see him do a better job with his hand placement as a bull rusher. But these are small technique issues, and if he shows no improvement, he's still going to be ahead of the curve and be a good NFL prospect. Mainly, if he can maintain his level of production, or near it (assuming he faces more double teams) will be a successful season. He had 11.5 sacks, 20 tackles for loss, and 4 forced fumbles last season.
Clayborn is probably going to be a first round pick for a 3-4 team. And he could go high depending on how the needs and the draft order stacks out. I'd say he's probably a better player than Tyson Jackson was entering their last seasons, and Jackson wound up being the No. 3 overall pick. If a 3-4 team is looking for an end, it's not crazy to think he could be a Top 10 pick as well. But more than likely, he'll go somewhere in the middle of the first round. The thing that probably hurts his stock more than anything else is that he doesn't have ideal measurables for either a 3-4 or 4-3 end. But even still, it's hard to imagine him not being a first round pick next year.
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.