Many have speculated over why exactly former Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen fell out of the first round of the 2010 NFL draft. Perhaps it was due to leadership concerns, or durability issues, or that teams felt that they had more pressing needs to address. Certainly, Clausen’s free-fall surprised most people, given his pre-draft hype and natural talent.
However, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post, Clausen’s ability is not necessarily in question, but rather, the status of his surgically repaired toe.
According to league sources with knowledge about the status of Clausen’s surgically repaired right big toe, the ailment has caused some concerns with NFL teams. We’re told that the degree of stiffness of the toe raised eyebrows during his physical exams at the NFL scouting combine.
At that workout, though, Clausen’s usual athleticism wasn’t on display as far his footwork and quickness on rollout plays as he works his way back from the injury.
While nagging injuries can often act as a repellant to organizations in the draft, if Clausen’s toe can heal properly by the time he is eventually slated to play, then every team that passed on him might be kicking themselves in the future for doing so.