Clive Walford   TE   Miami

TALENT BOARD ROUND 4

STRENGTHS
Clive reminds me a lot of former Buffalo Bills 2nd round pick in the 1994 draft, TE Lonnie Johnson. Clive shows on film solid athletic talent and strong hands to catch the ball. He has good speed and although he is more of a pass catching Tight End/H-back, and not used that much as an inline blocker, he does a good job blocking in space and helping out the tackles when pass blocking and on sweeps. Clive has those long arms that you would expect and should allow him to have a big catch radius. He also has those long legs that could allow for separation when running down the slot on some deep passes. There is a lot of potential for Clive to become a good pass catching Tight End at the next level if he works hard and is drafted into the right offensive system with some good coaching.

CONCERNS
The potential is there but Clive has a lot of issues he needs to address. He has to get stronger hands to hang on to the ball and catch the ball in contested situations. He lacks quickness in his route running and explosiveness coming off the line of scrimmage when running his routes, blocking in space or in line. Clive also lacks what I call “football common sense”. He just runs routes like they are drawn up on the board and doesn’t get what defenses are doing or spacing, down, distance and a whole host of details that a tight end must understand to be a stand out player.

BOTTOM LINE
I told you that Clive reminded me of TE Lonnie Johnson and Bills fans remember him for sure. The play Lonnie is remembered for was a fake punt against the Green Bay Packers in 1997. Lonnie was thrown the ball over the middle and there was no one playing for the Packers anywhere near him or even in the TV picture. Lonnie was running clear and free and high stepping and looking back at all the players on both teams that he was in the process of beating for an obvious touchdown. For some reason Lonnie forgot that when you punt the ball, there is usually a player on the opposing team who is supposed to receive the ball. As Lonnie is looking back and running in full stride, that player hit Lonnie like an explosion, knocking him all the way back to Friday of the week before. In fact, I think the Packers’ Darren Sharper was penalized for the hit (and this was back in 1997 when no one got penalized for hitting another player hard). You have to wonder how Lonnie did not know there was a player set to catch the punt and how did he not look for that punt returner after he had caught that fake punt pass? It comes down to a lack of football sense and that’s what I see in Clive’s overall game. Not a lack of talent or effort, but a lack of simple football sense. Can he improve it (or gain it)? I believe so, but I’m convinced it might take longer than his first contract. Lonnie ended up with a big headache and on the Kansas City Chiefs; unfortunately, he didn’t really develop after that hit. For Clive, I’ll wait until after his first big hit.

Drew Boylhart
MAR/2015