2010 NFL draft not QB friendly

MIKE ZEISBERGER, Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:41 AM ET

The Kansas City Chiefs didn’t want Jimmy Clausen.

Imagine being overlooked by a team whose offensive co-ordinator, Charlie Weis, was your head coach at Notre Dame.

Ouch.

The Cleveland Browns didn’t want Jimmy Clausen.

Imagine hearing their team president, Mike Holmgren, say he passed you over because he “wished” he liked you better.

That’s gotta sting.

The Buffalo Bills didn’t want Jimmy Clausen.

Imagine being snubbed — twice in two days, no less — by a team that started the day with Mr. Dump Off, Trent Edwards, as the top quarterback on its depth chart.

After taken all those blows to the ego, count on Clausen entering the National Football League with a huge chip on his shoulder.

In one of the worst free falls ever experienced by a highly touted prospect at an NFL draft, Clausen, the second-ranked quarterback behind Sam Bradford on most team’s draft boards, plummeted all the way down to the 48th spot, where he finally was snapped up by the Carolina Panthers Friday.

Prior to their acquisition of Donovan McNabb several weeks ago, the Washington Redskins were said to be interested in Clausen with the fourth overall pick in this, the NFL’s 75th-annual auction of football beef.

Thursday night, he didn’t go there. Nor was he picked No. 7 by Cleveland. Or ninth by the Bills.

At selection No. 25, the Denver Broncos took a quarterback. Only it wasn’t Clausen. Instead, it was 2007 Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, a kid many experts predict won’t be ready to take regular snaps under centre for an NFL game for another two years.

So much for being taken in the first round.

Tried earlier to land

The beginning of the second round Friday night wasn’t much better for Clausen either. Kansas City, Cleveland and Buffalo, all potential landing spots for him, opted to go in different directions.

Finally, midway through the second round, the Panthers called out his name. This is the same Panthers team that attempted — and failed — to trade up earlier in the round with the St. Louis Rams to land him.

They ended up getting their man anyway.

“I believe everything happens for a reason,” Clausen said, attempting to remain upbeat. “Obviously I would have liked to have gone higher but I’m excited at going to a good situation.”

Clausen makes a great point. With the Panthers having bid adieu to interception machine Jake Delhomme earlier this off-season, un-heralded Matt Moore will be Clausen’s primary competition at quarterback.

“I know a lot about the Panthers,” Clausen said. “They have one of the best receivers in the league in Steve Smith, two great running backs (Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams) and a great offensive line.”

In the past few years, Brady Quinn and Aaron Rodgers were the poster boys for quarterbacks who ended up being drafted much lower than originally thought.

But at least they eventually were selected in the first round.

That’s a claim Jimmy Clausen — a kid who tossed 60 touchdown passes and just 27 picks with the Fighting Irish — can never make.

Another highly discussed quarterback, Texas pivot Colt McCoy, went No. 85 to the Browns.

In the end, it appears the Bills were not enamoured with either Clausen or McCoy. Now, unless they trade for Washington’s Jason Campbell or have a surprise up their sleeve in Rounds 4 through 7 Saturday, Edwards will have the inside track on the starter’s job.

Ugh.

After picking dynamic running back C.J. Spiller in the first round, the Bills did bulk up their defensive line Friday, selecting Central Florida tackle Terrell Troup in the second and Arkansas State end Alex Carrington in the third.

The biggest pick of the draft — literally — went to the Baltimore Ravens, who took 375-pound run stuffer Terrance Cody of Alabama. When Cody lines up next to 350-pound Haloti Ngata, teams can forget about attempting to run up the middle against the Ravens.


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