Throughout his collegiate career Clayborn totaled 192 tackles with 37.5 tackles for a loss, 19 sacks, seven forced fumbles, eight passes patted down, and three blocked kicks. His best season came as a junior when he totaled 70 tackles with 11.5 sacks, 20 tackles for a loss, and four forced fumbles. He also blocked a punt and returned it 53 yards for a touchdown against Penn State. As a senior Clayborn made 52 tackles with 3.5 sacks, 7 tackles for a loss, one forced fumble, and one blocked kick.
Entering the 2010 college football season Clayborn, 22, was viewed as a potential top-five pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. During the season Clayborn did get some additional attention in the form of double-teams after his banner junior season, but the Iowa product did not match the stellar numbers that he put up his junior season.
At the scouting combine, Clayborn did not participate in the bench press drill, but did run the 40-yard dash in 4.78 seconds along with recording a vertical jump of 33". Clayborn also had the best 20-yard shuttle time in the combine for defensive linemen running the drill in 4.13 seconds. Clayborn was hosted by Tampa Bay on a pre-draft visit. Afterwards he spoke with Pewter Report.
“It was a et with the defensive line coaches and the head coach, and the GM. I really liked them a lot and feel like it would be a great fit,” said Clayborn. “They did a good job of explaining to me the defense and how I would fit well into it. With Raheem it was a great one. We talked about certain things. It looks like a good fit and I like both the [defensive line] coaches. We’ll see. It was an overall good meeting and great day.”
Clayborn is a power football player that can immediately start at the left defensive end position for the Bucs. He uses his power to rip off blocks and shed offensive linemen to the side to open up a lane to get the quarterback and he will bull rush tackles.
The Bucs run defense will also get a boost out of having Clayborn on the defensive line. He is stout at the point of attack, and while he doesn't frequently bust into the backfield to make a big play, he does not get moved off the ball or pushed back. With his stature and strength, Clayborn plays with very good leverage.
After Clayborn’s banner junior season many projected him to be a top 10 pick entering his senior season. The reduced sack numbers have some believing that Clayborn will have to play left defensive end in the pros. At Iowa, Clayborn was exclusively at right defensive end. After being born with Erb’s Palsy Clayborn’s right arm was affected and he cannot extend it fully. While Clayborn plays with strength and power, the Erb’s Palsy translates to reduced weight room strength as he managed 17 reps of 225 pounds, a low number for a defensive linemen.
Some have wondered if the right arm issues prevent him from being able to play left defensive end. Clayborn has worked out at both end spots for NFL teams and they have told him that his explosion out of his stance has been timed the same from the right or left side. He is confident that he can play both sides of the line of scrimmage.
“That’s pretty much what I’ve heard. I know I can and we’ll see which team trusts my work and believes that I can,” said Clayborn. “I feel I can be a great pass rusher, and I feel I can play left end and take on tight ends and bigger tackles and stuff like that.”
Clayborn was a team captain at Iowa and is something that the Buccaneers look for and took into great consideration when making their pick. Throughout his time with the Hawkeyes Clayborn was hailed by the coaching staff and teammates as an excellent locker room leader. He was named to the program's leadership committee the past three years.
The drafting of Clayborn marks the first time the Buccaneers have selected someone from the Big 10 conference with their first pick in the draft since the team took Michigan's Marquis Walker in the third round of the 2002 draft. The last time that the Buccaneers had the 20th pick in the draft was in 2008 when they selected cornerback Aqib Talib.
With the drafting of Clayborn the Buccaneers now have a total of seven defensive ends on their roster. That group includes Clayborn, Alex Magee, Michael Bennett, and Kyle Moore, who are all expected to compete for roster spots and roles on the defense. The primary starters from last season, Stylez White and Tim Crowder, are scheduled to be free agents and may not be re-signed.
~ by Charlie Campbell and Andrew Scavelli