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 former Oklahoma quarterback Sam 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 already has met with the Redskins and
Browns and is scheduled to meet with the Bills and the Rams. Clausen
also is 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."
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