Before I begin, let me start by saying I had Clausen rated No. 14 on my draft board. I would have had no problem with a team like the 49ers taking him in the 1st round, or someone trading back into the 1st round for him at the end of the night.
The question I have now is: if no one liked Clausen enough to take him in the 1st round, then why would they take him in the 2nd?
If you watched Notre Dame this past season, then you know that Clausen has NFL skills. He may actually be the most physically gifted quarterback in this year’s draft class and he’s certainly the most NFL-ready. Because of this, the only reason I can see why a team passed on him is because of concerns about his maturity level and leadership ability. If you’re concerned about those red flags, when why would you take him at all?
Now I don’t actually believe Clausen will far on day two, but I will question the draft philosophy of any team that takes him after passing him over in round one.
Take the Bills for example. If Buddy Nix believes that Clausen can be the face of his franchise, then why take C.J. Spiller in the 1st round? Spiller doesn’t even fill a need. The same can be said for the Browns who also addressed an area that was viewed as a strength entering the draft.
If either the Bills or Browns select Clausen, I think we have to question their commitment to him. While he won’t be paid nearly as much as a top-10 pick, the expectations of developing into a franchise quarterback are still there. I don’t believe either team can convince me that they actually believe Clausen is franchise quarterback after they let the entire 1st-round go by without taking him in the top 10 or trading back up in an effort to land him.