Nearly every scout calls WR Michael Clayton a tough player and a hard worker
In the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected LSU wide receiver Michael Clayton with the 15th pick overall. Only the second receiver ever drafted by Tampa Bay in the first round, Clayton is expected to contribute immediately to an improving offense this fall.
Below is a collection of scouting reports on Clayton, compiled before the draft.
Kiper Jr. – ESPN "He has excellent size, is a very polished natural receiver and plays bigger than his listed height because of his ability to go up and come down with the ball. Not only is Clayton a terrific pass catcher, he is also a special teams standout and played a little safety for the Tigers this season."
Len Pasquarelli – ESPN.com
"Precise route runner. Not only sharp in his cuts, but just always seems able to shorten his steps and break off his route at the optimum moment without any loss of speed."
"Good-sized wide out that has been the go to receiver defenses cannot stop. Defeats jams at the line of scrimmage, uses his frame to shield defenders from the action and comes back to the ball. Consistently finds the open spot on the field and always working to get open. Possesses soft and strong hands. Clayton is a terrific football player and an exceptional pass-catcher."
Scouts Inc. – ESPN.com "Clayton shows exceptional focus and concentration. Has big, soft hands and arms to win jump balls and make plays in traffic. Never decelerates when catching passes on the run. Almost always catches the ball away from his body, and secures the ball immediately. Is one of the best route runners in his class. Sets up man-to-man cornerbacks nicely, and has a terrific feel for zone coverage. Is a clutch performer who always seems to come up with a big play. Works as hard as any college receiver we have ever scouted. Shows terrific stamina, and never gives up."
Pro Football Weekly "Very fluid, natural athlete with strong hands. Runs like a deer. Can accelerate and eat a cushion quickly. Thrives in pressure situations. Understands blocking angles. Tough competitor. Hard worker. Does the little things. Very savvy receiver with the natural athleticism, size, sure hands and play-making ability to be a Pro Bowl-caliber receiver."
NFLDraftScout.com "Has a lean, angular body with well-developed thighs and calves and long, toned arms. Has the foot speed to easily negotiate through press coverage, using his hands in conjunction to get a good push off the defender to separate. Sudden in his release off the line, showing above average route discipline and body control. Can stick and shake a defender, running polished routes. Has natural hands, doing a nice job of extending to catch away from the body's frame. Very good route runner who knows how to lean into his cuts and use his hip swerve and head fakes to gain separation."