Charles Clay, FB, Tulsa

Scouting reports of the running backs and fullbacks in the 2011 Draft.
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Charles Clay, FB, Tulsa

Postby Pudge » Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:26 pm

Tulsa Senior
40: 4.65 (estimated)


Has pretty good speed and shows power to break arm tackles and will use the stiff arm. Has good hands as a receiver. Shows speed to run past linebackers in the passing game, making him a tough matchup. Able to make plays after the catch due to his speed. Shows decent balance and burst as a runner and can make some defenders miss at the second level. Is effective when asked to be a lead blocker, able to get position in space and can pull across the line as an H-back. Can square up defender as an H-back and shows some pop against the linebacker in the hole. Can chip in pass protection and show the ability to pick up the blitzer.


Doesn't seem decisive as a lead blocker, and not quite sure of his assignments. He'll miss some. Not overly physical at the point of attack and needs to do a better job driving his legs upon contact. Has a tendency to run upright, and doesn't always do a great job securing the ball against his body when toting the rock. Not as physical runner as his size would merit, and his feet tend to go dead upon contact. Lacks the quick first step with the ball in his hand. Has questionable footwork as a runner, especally when he's asked to change direction. Doesn't have great vision as a runner, taking a false step before locating the hole whenever he's lined up in the wildcat formation. Will body catch at times and is not a natural route runner in space.


Clay is a versatile guy that plays predominantly as an H-back in Tulsa's spread attack. He was a four-year starter. His most productive was his freshman year where he had career highs with 304 rushing yards, 69 receptions, and 1024 receiving yards. But for his career, combined for 911 rushing yards on 177 carries (5.1 avg) and 10 touchdowns, as well as 189 catches for 2544 yards (13.5 avg) and 28 scores.


Clay is a bit of a tweener. He looks the part of an undersized tight end and H-back, but has the ability to also play as a lead blocker at fullback. He can immediately compete in an H-back role since he won't have to adjust much. There he can be an effective guy, but his blocking will be limited. But eventually, his greater upside is at fullback where a few years down the road if he can fill out his frame better. Probably needs to bulk up some more and get up to the 245-260 range to best fit in the pros. But you think potentially he can be a very similar NFL player as Marcel Reese (Raiders), who was a productive starter for the Raiders this year as a runner/receiver because of his speed and quickness in the flat. Similarly, Clay is a good athlete, although I think Reece is probably more explosive. But like Reece, I think it's going to be tough for Clay to come in right away and stick because he doesn't have an ideal position, and unless he proves to be very valuable on special teams, he'll be hard-pressed to maintain a roster spot as he's developing. He did play special teams while at Tulsa, working as an upback on punts, but I'm not sure how much that is going to translate to him being good in coverage. As far as him playing H-back, because he's not a polished receiver/route runner, I don't see him standing out in that realm. At least not enough that he won't be passed by a more natural receiver down the road. I would be surprised if he makes any significant contributions his first year or two in the league, but by the time his rookie contract is almost up, I think he can make an NFL roster as he's developed more as a traditional lead blocker, and a guy that can be a factor as an outlet receiver in the flat. Teams will like his athleticism, but unless he gets better as a blocker, he won't get many opportunities to showcase it.


Clay could be an effective role player for the Falcons working as an H-back, TE, and FB at times. It's a similar role that Justin Peelle, Michael Palmer, Jason Snelling, and Brian Finneran have filled at various times the past few years. But he's not a player that unless he can really improve as a lead blocker that he'll have trouble sticking on the Falcons roster. He could make the practice squad with the team seeing him as a versatile receiver out of the backfield, but unless he can compete early on special teams, he'll be hard-pressed to stick long enough to be developed.


Unless a team has a firm role defined for him, they probably are better off staying away from him in the draft. But a team that likes his athletic ability might take a flyer on him late in the seventh round.

1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite

Speed: 3.5
Power: 2.5
Hands: 3.5
Vision: 2.0
Blocking: 2.0
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.

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