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NFL Draft 2017: Wisconsin RB Corey Clement scouting report

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The Big Ten’s second leading rusher in 2016, Clement should carve out a nice NFL career.

NCAA Football: Cotton Bowl-Wisconsin vs Western Michigan Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

In scouting, it’s imperative to remind yourself that every player is an individual.

There seems to be this misnomer that all Wisconsin backs are superlative athletes, or that they will all succeed in the NFL. Corey Clement had an awful tough act to follow. Succeeding Melvin Gordon, James White, and Montee Ball also comes the expectations that Clement would be just like them.

The lazy television analyst would spew: “Look for Corey Clement to have a big year behind that great Wisconsin offense line.” While this wasn’t entirely false, the implication is that, another Wisconsin running back will succeed behind more Wisconsin offensive lines, who are supposed to always be good. People are individuals.

This Wisconsin offensive line wasn’t as good as advertised, and Clement shouldn’t be held to the standards of White—the should-have-been Super Bowl MVP—and Gordon, a former first-round pick who is coming into his own with the Los Angeles Chargers in the NFL.

Despite finishing second in the Big Ten conference in rushing (1375 yards, 15 rushing touchdowns), Clement’s season seemed underwhelming. This is more due to his predecessors than Clement’s performance.

Corey Clement reflects on NFL Combine, Pro Day journey (B5Q/YouTube)

RB Corey Clement

Height: 510
Weight: 220
Hand Size: 9 3/4”
Arm Length: 30 1/2”

40 Yard Dash: 4.68 seconds (NFL Combine), 4.54 seconds (Pro Day)
Three Cone Drill: 6.70 seconds (Pro Day)
20 Yard Shuttle: 4.19 seconds (Pro Day)
Bench Press: 19 reps (Combine)
Broad Jump: 9’7 (Combine), 10’0” (Pro Day)
Vertical Jump: 28.5” (Combine), 32” (Pro Day)

Strengths: Looks the part. Clement is rocked up, with a cut upper body and thick lower half. Has experience in an NFL-style run game. Shows solid foot quickness, especially in the hole. Has shown the ability to break tackles and bounce off of arm tackles. Exhibits good hands, effortlessly catches the ball. Is creative after the catch, hard to bring down. Has return experience.

Weaknesses: Doesn’t have above average speed. Gets caught from behind on longer runs. Has shown propensity to fumble. Was taken out of the game in pass protection situations. Off-field issues in 2015. Lacks a standout trait. Struggles to create more than what is blocked up for him. Can be a bit stiff athletically. Isn’t very explosive.

Summary: Clement was a very productive back over his four seasons in Madison. While he doesn’t have the featured athleticism that some of this predecessors had, he was a threat out of the backfield for the Badgers, and shows some versatility to have the potential to be a third-down back, which would help out his case a lot. Has return experience and will need to excel on special teams to help cement his spot on an NFL roster. Should have a nice NFL career as a rotational back.

Projected Round: 6-7