Clausen throws for NFL personnel
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Former Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen tried to show NFL teams Friday he is worth a first-round draft pick, though he's still not 100 percent healthy three months after surgery to repair torn tendons in his right foot.
Clausen didn't run during the 30-minute throwing session attended by 16 of the 32 NFL teams. He completed 57-of-59 passes, overthrowing wide receiver Robby Parris on two long routes. His receivers also needed to make some nice catches on several other throws, with former Notre Dame running back James Aldridge twisting back to catch a short pass on his shoulder and former Irish receiver David Grimes speeding up to make a fingertip grab on a 50-yard pass.
Clausen said he wanted to be able to show he could drive the ball. He said his toe feels fine, but the top of his ankle is weak after being in a boot for eight weeks.
"I need to keep getting that stronger," he said.
Clausen played the final nine games this past season with two torn tendons in his right foot, which he said were misdiagnosed as turf toe. He said he has been told by doctors he should have had surgery the day after he was injured against Michigan State on Sept. 19 and sat out the rest of the season.
Clausen ran for the first time on March 22, when he jogged two times around a track. He hopes to be 100 percent in about a month.
St. Louis Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo, whose team owns the first pick overall, wouldn't give much away after watching the workout other than saying he was pleased with what he's seen from Clausen, Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy.
"They're all very impressive. I think we knew that going in," he said.
Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell was more specific about what he thought about Clausen's workout.
"I thought he made some nice throws. He really did a good job for himself in terms of the types of balls that he threw. He threw some deep corner routes, he threw some comebacks, it gives you an opportunity to see how the ball comes out," he said.
Some rating services have Clausen as the No. 4 player overall, ahead of Bradford. Others believe Clausen might fall to later in the first round like former Irish quarterback Brady Quinn did in 2007, when he was taken with the 22nd pick by the Cleveland Browns.
Clausen has already met with the Browns and Washington Redskins and is scheduled to meet with the Buffalo Bills and the Rams. Clausen is also scheduled to do a private workout with the Redskins next week.
Since the surgery in early January, Clausen has prepared for the draft by lifting weights in California and throwing passes to a variety of receivers, including two former USC players, safety Taylor Mays and defensive end Everson Griffen.
Clausen said he hasn't decided if he'll be in New York for the draft, saying he doesn't know what will happen on April 22.
"I could go top five, top 10, I could go in the second round, I really don't know," he said. "My name's going to get called and I'm going to have a lot of fun."
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press