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April 28, 2011 @ 11:11 pm
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Clayborn: "Tampa Is Where I Wanted To Be"

Written by Scott
Scott Reynolds


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Tampa Bay was looking for a tough, physical defensive end and believe it found that player in Iowa's Adrian Clayborn, who was drafted with the 20th overall selection and thrilled to be a Buccaneer.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers surprised many by passing up Clemson defensive end Da’Quan Bowers and California’s Cameron Jordan and selecting Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn with the 20th overall pick in the first round. Clayborn told ESPN’s Suzie Kolber he was excited to land in Tampa Bay.

“It’s a long wait, but it was well worth it,” Clayborn said. “Tampa is where I wanted to be and I’m glad I got to them and I’m glad they picked me. I’m glad to be a Buc.”

Clayborn, once viewed as a potential top 10 pick heading into the 2010 season, saw his stock drop during his senior campaign after notching a disappointing 3.5 sacks and one forced fumble after recording 11.5 sacks and four forced fumbles. Clayborn also raised some eyebrows by skipping the Senior Bowl and finishing his senior season with just one tackle and no sacks against Missouri in the Insight Bowl – despite the fact that quarterback Blaine Gabbert threw the ball 57 times.

“Teams knew that my play was still there but my numbers were down a bit,” Clayborn said. “It wasn’t a concern. My motor was still going and my skills were still there. It is not like I lost a step or whatever.”

Bucs general manager Mark Dominik spoke about Clayborn’s motor and downplayed his lack of sacks during his senior season.

“His motor – he’s a relentless football player,” Dominik said. “He will go full [bore] on every play as long as he can and as hard as he can. You’ll see that. I’m looking forward to our fans seeing this guy play in pewter and red. He’s going to be a guy that attacks the football field and attacks the run. He has some very physical hits. He’s a good finisher. He has good change of direction. We’re very excited about him. He’s going to be a productive football player for us and I know he’s going to make us a better team up front. It all does start up front in terms of attacking the quarterback.

“Sacks sometimes – you can’t just determine a man by his production that way. If he would have come out last year we would talk about how many sacks he did have. This guy is a productive football player. He creates havoc on the football team. He helps other players around him become productive players, which is what we want him to do with Gerald McCoy, Brian Price and Roy Miller. He’s going to do that for our football team. He’s going to continue to generate the push and the pressure that we want to attack and apply to the quarterbacks that we have in our division now that we have Cam Newton as well.”

Clayborn’s stock was further affected by having Erb’s Palsy, a condition in his right shoulder that limits his strength and range of motion. After being selected in the first round, Clayborn is glad that he overcame a condition in which doctors suggested he might not be able to play competitive sports at a young age.

“I was told I couldn’t play football,” Clayborn said. “I was starting behind the eight ball, but I’ve been building up strength in my shoulder since then. The coaches at Iowa helped me out a lot and my trainer now helps me out tremendously. Nothing’s wrong with it, so there is not much to say I guess.

Clayborn told Kolber that him being drafted by the Buccaneers could serve as an inspiration to others with physical limitations.

“It means just keep pushing,” Clayborn said. “People said I wouldn’t be able to play football and held me back and held me back, but I kept going. Whatever your dream is, just stick with it and don’t let anybody hold you from it.”

Dominik said the team did extensive testing on Clayborn’s right shoulder and that the Erb’s Palsy condition does not worry the team because it did not affect his performance at Iowa.

“His shoulder is fine,” Dominik said. “Erb’s Palsy is what the shoulder is. It’s something he was born with. He’s been playing with it and living with it his entire life. It’s nothing that gets worse. It’s just something that happened at birth and it’s something he’s played with his whole life. It’s not something we were concerned about at all as a medical staff.”

The 6-foot-3, 287-pound defensive end said he had a good feeling that the Bucs were going to draft him. PewterReport.com reported last week that Clayborn visited One Buc Place as one of the team’s allotted 30 pre-draft visitors.

“I knew they liked me a lot,” Clayborn said. “I knew that it was a possibility of them picking me. I knew it was between a couple of the D-ends or whatever. I’m a Buc and I’m excited it all worked out. In just talking with my position coaches and talking with the head coach I’m just excited because it is a defense I can do well in, do very well in.”

Soon after being drafted by Tampa Bay, Clayborn received a congratulatory call from defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who was the team’s first-round pick a year ago. McCoy and Clayborn are expected to become an inside-outside threat for the Buccaneers in 2011.

“I just got off the phone with McCoy,” Clayborn said. “I’m just excited. He was talking to me a little bit. I know that defense is what I can thrive in, so I’m just excited about it. He just called me and just that they got a great pick in me. He’s excited and I’m excited to work with him and everybody else.

“He talked to me about is guiding me the right way through this whole process and I’m excited to have a guy like that to help me out.”

Dominik hopes that the selection of Clayborn, McCoy and Price over the last two years solidifies Tampa Bay’s defensive line for years to come in terms of the physical presence and toughness that he and Morris are seeking.

“I am very excited about the player that we just selected,” Dominik said. “The mindset that we’ve had in building this football team in terms of building the Bucs two years ago it’s about toughness and it’s about the football player mentality in terms of how hard you play, when you play and where you play – all those things. He also ties into the two-time captain. That’s two years in a row that we have taken a first-round pick that is a two-time captain at a major university. He’s a leader and he brings a lot of traits that we think are very important to this football team, and we are very excited to welcome Adrian Clayborn to this team.”

– Charlie Campbell contributed to this story 

Last modified on Thursday, 28 April 2011 23:32

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  • avatar

    Defensive Lineman on the roster now includes Roy Miller, Brian Price, Gerald McCoy, Kyle Moore, Stylez White, Adrian Clayborn, Da'Quan Bowers, Alex Magee, George Johnson, and Tim Crowder. Only one player is a 4 year veteran. Everyone else is younger. The Bucs defensive line may be set for the next 5 years.
  • avatar

    jhamman69...that was actually a really good write-up to Bucs fans regarding what we're getting in Clayborn. Thanks for sharing that link.
  • avatar

    How awesome would it be if we traded up in the 2nd round and drafted Bowers?! Bowers was a top ten pick early. Clayborn and Bowers coming off the edge for years to come! Not to mention we have Mccoy and Price on the inside! Our d line would be the real deal for the next 10 years! GO BUCS!
  • avatar

    I like this pick, although i was sad to see kerrigan go to washington. i dont know what the buca will do with the rest of the picks but i hope we come out with bruce carter, greg romeous in the 3rd round, and i really really like the MLB from marshall, derrick harvey, in the late rounds. I think harvey will be one of this years gems
  • avatar

    I don't know what's getting some people all bent out of shape with this pick. One of his strengths perfectly fills a weakness....his run defense! Call me crazy but if this team can figure out how to stop the run consistently and effectively, won't it make opposing offenses one dimensional? Forcing offenses into uncomfortable down and distance situations allows the defense to pin their ears back and get after the QB...ipso facto...more sacks.
  • avatar

    Click on this post below from Iowa Hawkeye Blog if want to know more about our 1st round pick. It details why his production was down this past year. I linked to it from buc nation. I think he is a good pick. Go bucs! http://www.blackheartgoldpants.com/2011/4/26/2133583/2011-nfl-draft-projections-so-youre-thinking-about-drafting-adrian-clayborn
  • avatar

    McCoy, Price, Miller, Okam, Bennett, Crowder, Clayborne, and .... one more. I am hoping for GREG ROMEUS. THEN the D-Line is set for years. Get to work on LBs!! (Bruce Carter & Nate Irving) I will say as much as I have harped on getting a DE or 2, when Prince (CB) was available after 18..... that might have been a tough decision. In the end, glad they got their guy at DE. Can't to see a LB and ROMEUS taken tonight. ATLANTA---------------------------- Giving up 5 picks for a WR.... really? Even if he is as good as Calvin Johnson, this is idiotic. GO Bucs
  • avatar

    lets go get romeus today to finish the dline renovations maybe trade from the third into the second instead of hoping hes there in the third. we can pick up a second rounder and him cause hes a guy with first round talent no telling how early hell go now that the first round is over. they better keep this lockout ended so there is a season cause this is just a tease if there aint. just too excited for the future of the bucs
  • avatar

    Clayborn will be great! I called it the whole time! Clayborn brings that passion and leadership that we need. Then when the Saints drafted Ingram, I was like Thank God we got Clayborn cause Ingram will be a load.
  • avatar

    I want to emphasize how happy I am we didn't come away from this draft with A. Smith or C. Jordan. I thought they were both overrated. The disappointment from not getting Kerrigan was gone by the time our pick rolled around. It's a new day and Clayborn is now a Buc. We know what we're getting. A great run defender, a solid leader and a high motor guy. Let's just hope we get luckly and he also turns out to be a great pass rusher. Go Bucs!
  • avatar

    meant 2012 1st round picks. Big day today - let's go Bucs!!
  • avatar

    So Atl and NO gave up their 2011 1st round picks and have no 2nd round picks today huh? Man, an injury to Jones would set Atl way back. And Carolina - if Cam's football IQ isn't high and he struggles to read defenses, they're in trouble and will be set why back if he busts. Gruden asked him to recall an Auburn play and he came up blank. IQ? Yikes
  • avatar

    I agree. Giving up so much for one guy is stupid. NO and ATL are goingt o be good for awhile, but I think the Bucs are better poised to get better and better every year. Carolina is a long way way.
  • avatar

    I thought the Bucs would go with Cameron Jordan here, but I'm happy with the Clayborn pick. This guy has more heart than most players and the Erb's Palsy apparently isn't an issue. He will be a darn good player. McCoy inside, Clayborn outside..add some Brian Price, (and maybe Greg Romeus) that looks pretty good to me. PS, McCoy is not a bust.
  • avatar

    Great pick! As for Atlanta they gave all that up and didn't even get the player they wanted! (green). The deal with the bengals fell through and they instead got a faster micheal clayton (kiper was even praising his blocking!) I wouldn't be too envious of the falcons guys
  • avatar

    Despite everything I read (and I hope Adrian proves me wrong) I still think we would have been better off with Cameron Jordan. Think he's quicker and more versatile. Hope round 2 pick isn't so "questionable" hmm Game opener is going to be tough against Detriot with Fairly on the line with Suh....ouch.
  • avatar

    i trust dominick and morris. I was hoping for bowers but these guys do there homework on these players and know alot more than us fans do. I mean they have been watching numerous amounts of film and doing research on these players that we know nothing about. And to call McCoy a bust is just dumb. He is no N. Suh but the kid was really coming on before he got hurt. If we can land Jabaal Sheard or Romeous/ Allen we are going to have a pretty good DLine with big strong players who can get to the QB. McCoy can rush the Qb so can Price Clayborn can as well all we need is 1 more guy and our Dline will be set for years. Lets go BUCS lets make it happen today and draft some more playmakers
  • avatar

    After the past two drafts I think Dom and Raheem have earned our trust and let them figure out what is best for our team. I will take a guy with a high energy/ high motor over somebody who is a high risk/reward anyday. All I should do here is mention a former 1st rounder we selected a few years back who did not do much for us.
  • avatar

    Wow...so this is what the Pewter Report Websight looks like during draft weekend...cool. You guys know any football fans that are IT guys at their day job? Cause PR needs some help. Sorry but this is 3 years in a row that they've had traffic issues. I miss you guys.
  • avatar

    Great pick Tampa. This kid has a motor and heart. I'm guessing the nay sayers didn't like Freeman either. Maybe you should become Atlanta fans this year. Adrian, give em he'll. Glad your a buc.
  • avatar

    calling mccoy a bust is way premature.
  • avatar

    Clayborn is a good run defender. Let's face it, the Bucs need to fix their run defense if they want to go to the playoffs and cause some damage. Mr. Dominik and Coach Morris did their home work. They also have a good track record on drafting. Therefore, I'm on board with this pick.
  • avatar

    What a tough crowd of "experts". So quick to become naysayers. Some of you must think a "one gap" is the space in Alfred E. Newman's smile and a "two gap" is Michael Strahan looking in the mirror. Isn't it just a little early in Clayborn's 12 hour career to immediately declare him a turd? Likewise it would be too early to put him in the Pro Bowl. Atlanta basically pulls a Mike Ditka and throws two years of drafts for a physical wideout who just happens to drop the ball a-lot. Talk about putting all your eggs in one basket. What happens when Roddy White starts pouting? Better keep Matty Ice's butt off the ground and better get someone to replace an aging Michael Turner and a retiring Tony Gonzalez.
  • avatar

    3.5 sacks. 1st round pick. Gimpy arm. Wow! A quality selection. And Cameron Jordon was there for the Saints. Just like McCoy... Bust. Pick an offensive player if you can't pick a good 1st round defensive player. Detroit picked up Nick Fairly to go with Kong Suh???!!!. That will be a terrific dline.
  • avatar

    McCoy a bust???? Sorry for the name calling, but you are a moron. McCoy got better and better as the year went on. He did exactly what a rookie DT should have done, maybe a little more. As for Clayborne, we won't know for a few years, like with McCoy, but what we do know is: Gil Brandt, Mike Mayock, Kiper, & MR. D. Brooks ALL have said this guy is the real deal. An emotional leader who gives 100% all the time and disrupts in the backfield. Kiper and Mayock both have said since his dropoff from last year he might be the most underrated player in the draft. I do agree though, the Lions are building something special.... if Stafford can stay healthy
  • avatar

    your name says it all...CLUELESS!!!!
  • avatar

    Although this pick worries me, I have faith in our front office. Hopefully they are making the right moves to stay competitive with our division because, so far, the Saints have had a monster of a draft with just two picks and the Falcons are going to have an extremely dangerous dual-threat at WR (barring Roddy White torpedoing his new teammate). Here's to hoping we get a shot at Bowers/Ayers or one of the DBs left tomorrow!!
  • avatar

  • avatar

    I think he is going to help us a lot and we will need it because Atlanta, New Orleans, and Carolina all got better offensive weapons in the 1st round. I can see the defensive line Dominick is talking about be much better as a unit. I am hoping that they all play at a higher level than before. At No. 20, this was a no risk and decent pick. The expections are much different when yo draft in the lower half of the 1st round. Go Bucs!
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