John Fox never scouted Jimmy Clausen before Panthers drafted him
Usually it’s a good idea for key people within a football organization to have scouted a quarterback before drafting him highly, but that was not the case for John Fox when he was with the Carolina Panthers.
The Panthers selected former Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen at No. 48 overall in the 2010 NFL Draft despite Fox, who was the team’s head coach at the time, never having scouted the QB.
Fox made the admission while discussing the quarterback drafting process on Wednesday.
“There’s a lot that goes into it,” Fox said via Pro Football Talk’s Darin Gantt. “You have to do a lot of research. That situation was a little bit unique, because I think people projected him maybe even into the top 10. On draft day, that’s not how it materialized. I can’t give you all the exacts. He was dropping.
“Personally, I never even watched him, because he wasn’t a targeted guy for me in our pre-draft assignments. But I can say now I would hope we draft someone that I’ve actually gotten a chance to watch.”
Clausen was projected to be a top quarterback, but as Fox noted, that’s not what happened. Clausen dropped to midway through the second round before Carolina snatched him.
The pick looked like a mistake as Clausen struggled as a rookie, going 1-9 with three touchdowns and nine interceptions. His chance as a rookie was the best opportunity Clausen got to start in the NFL. Interestingly, Clausen was on the roster when Fox took over as the Chicago Bears’ head coach in 2015 and threw 40 passes for them that season.
Fox’s current team, the Bears, are in the market for a new quarterback.