49ers Finish with Thomas Clayton at 186

Barring any last minute trades the 49ers end the 2007 NFL draft by selecting RB Thomas Clayton from Kansas St.

After a promising junior season and with a new coaching staff in place, Kansas State was expecting a banner senior season from Clayton in 2006. What they got instead was a troubled athlete who was suspended for the season opener against Illinois State.

Hoping to put the past behind him, Clayton was shut down at midseason by what the coaching staff would only call an “undisclosed season-ending injury” after just five games of action. It brought to an end a college career that began at Florida State and spanned just 28 games over five seasons.

Clayton led Mt. Vernon High School to the Class 3A Division V title as a senior. The Super Prep All-American was also Super Prep’s eighth-ranked running back nationally. He was named to the USA Today All-USA second-team after rushing for more than 2,000 yards and 26 touchdowns during his final season.

In 2002, Clayton enrolled at Florida State, appearing in four games as a true freshman. He gained 45 yards on 13 carries (3.5 avg) and caught one pass for a seven-yard gain. He transferred to Kansas State in 2003, sitting out the season under NCAA transfer rules, while also recovering from a left knee anterior cruciate ligament tear.

Clayton appeared in 10 games as a reserve tailback for KSU in 2004, managing 71 yards on 15 carries (4.7 avg). He appeared in nine games as a junior, starting eight contests and gaining 637 yards with four touchdowns on 137 attempts (4.6 avg). He also caught 12 passes for 73 yards and one score.

In five games during the 2006 season, Clayton started four times. He finished with 67 carries for 322 yards (4.8 avg) and three touchdowns. He added 45 yards on nine catches (5.0 avg). For his entire collegiate career, Clayton started 12 of 28 games he played in. He collected 1,075 yards with seven touchdowns on 232 attempts (4.6 avg). He also had 22 receptions for 125 yards (5.7 avg) and one score.

Positives: Well-built athlete with a tight abdomen, thick chest, broad shoulders, muscular arms, tight waist, ripped mid-section and thick thighs … Shows adequate change of direction agility and lateral moves, but has good speed through the rush lanes and strength to break tackles … Shows good acceleration and burst through the rush lanes, but is a little tight in his hips … More of a straight-line runner, but shows good body lean to gain valid yardage after the initial hit … Does a solid job of protecting the ball, carrying it with both hands on inside runs and distributing it away from the defenders when bouncing outside … Lacks physicality, but will get in the way of an opponent in attempts to sustain as a blocker … Does a decent job of sliding his feet upon contact … Quick twitch type who is best when following his blockers between the tackles … Has the leg drive to move the pile … Has the pull-away burst to separate in the second level, especially when taking the ball up the seam … Not thrown to much, but shows soft hands and good vision to look the ball in without breaking stride.

Negatives: Has maturity issues, as he has been involved in several incidents that led to a suspension and alleged benching … Will question authority and has a marginal work ethic … Marginal competitor who simply shuts down when not involved in the action … Gets frustrated when his initial move fails … Needs to be more accountable for his actions, both on and off the field … Lacks the plant-and-drive agility to redirect to the cutback lanes and has marginal stop-and-go action, gathering before making the cuts … Has just adequate lateral agility, negating his quickness … Runs into spots too often, lacking vision to pick and slide through trash … Shows hip stiffness in attempts to turn the corner and is a one-cut runner who is best taking the ball up the middle … Has good hands for the reception, but his concentration lapses lead to several dropped balls … Will just get in the way as a blocker, taking passive swipes … Tries to get too cute by dancing around in the backfield, but the defense is quick to converge and make the tackle … Shows little patience waiting for blocks to develop, and has questionable vision and block reading ability, as he constantly runs right into the crowd … Shies away from contact too much, preferring to run out of bounds rather than square his shoulders and power through the defender (has the strength to do this, but lacks the desire) … Has had multiple team issues leading to his 2006 benching, even though the player and staff label his inactivity as an “undisclosed injury.”

Compares To: Maurice Clarett, Nowhere … Alright, he’s not as bad as Clarett, but with his less than spectacular work ethic, penchant for shying away from contact and his questioning of authority, coupled with a “me-first” attitude, why waste a pick on this guy? The production has been marginal and, while he looks the part, he does not play like he is capable of ever being anything more than a player who will fight for a roster spot.

2003: Sat out the year under NCAA transfer rules, but also suffered a left knee anterior cruciate ligament tear in August.

2007: Could not complete the agility tests at the Combine due to tight hamstrings.

Campus: 4.58 in the 40-yard dash (wind-aided) … 4.65 40-yard dash (against the wind) … 439-pound bench press … 717-pound safe squat … 36-inch vertical jump … 10-foot-2 broad jump … 4.42 20-yard shuttle … 7.28 three-cone drill … 30½-inch arm length … 9 5/8-inch hands … Left-handed … 22/34 Wonderlic score.

Combine: 4.66 in the 40-yard dash … 1.66 10-yard dash … 2.74 20-yard dash … 36½-inch vertical jump … 10-foot-1 broad jump … Bench pressed 225 pounds 23 times.


~ by 49ersNews on April 29, 2007.

40 Responses to “49ers Finish with Thomas Clayton at 186”

  1. i dont like this pick i would have taken Walker, Darius 5-10 212 Notre Dame …….but thats just me

  2. they benched him over a true freshman durring the season!!!!

  3. clayton runs a 4.63 but looks faster than that in the actual game so im happy…gore and clayton plus robinson lets go good depth

  4. walker fumbles too much…he was only benched becuz he had character issues calm down


  6. I think the last couple picks have been pretty shitty, but I’m no expert. Overall we still got some great players.


  8. what…haha u think our last picks have been shitty lol…..we got tarell brown from texas…thats 2nd round talent and dashon goldson the 6th rated FS

  9. Maybe he’ll just be a human sacrifice, an early cut because of his bad attitude. Just a morality lesson for the other young players. I can’t see this guy sticking.

  10. jay moore great steal and thomas clayton breaks alot of nice runs…watch his highlights

  11. nolan will straighten these guys out….i think nolan wants to convert the attitude and baggage to toughness….us bringing in these attitudy players will be converted to toughness for this team


  13. thomas clayton…your talking about a guy who averaged 5.4 yards a carry last year…thats great

  14. yea thats why your not in the league becuz u wulda picked sum shitty players ahhahahhahah

  15. ye,we will see whos on the practice squad list durring the season,hahahahaha.

  16. maybe the last couple of picks will become great players but I really really doubt it. Besides Cohen and Moore we could have had gotten better players today.

  17. What happened to drafting players with strong motivation/ good character?…apparently Nolan wants to be a father, not a coach. Very bizarre.

  18. not only does this guy suck he has character issues horrible pick

  19. Dr Dre, go back with snoop dogg and leave the drafting to the experts. Loser

  20. whoever whos bitching needs to stop theses past 2 drafts have been great nolan knows what hes doing

  21. yeah, I think there is a reason why they get paid to pick these players and we don’t. I am a little worried about Brown, though.

  22. WTF… This guy is pick 187! He is not our first round pick so stop knocking on Nolan and team saying he is trying to be a father and blah blah. I think what Nolan see is a kid with issues in College who, but is half decent. Now he is coming to a team with a Pro Bowl running back Gore, so he knows he is not going to start. Take him to camp, beat the shit out of him and see if he straightens out and has the will to compete. If not, he will be dropped. Sometimes you want to pick up player with issues and see if you can work on them, just dont make the mistake of picking them too high or making your team to heavy with them.
    Look at Moss, NE took him even tho he has some MAJOR issues. And i think that is a good trade because guess what, at NE he will be around talent and a QB that wont take any of his shit. He will be set straight, or see the sideline.

  23. im not knocking on nolan,i am nocking on his choises he made,and if we didnt complain,that would me we didnt care. so stop YOUR BITCHING,on my opinion!

  24. Brown was projected to be a mid first round player until the character issues and we got him in the 5th he gonna make one pro bowl watch

  25. Apparently, the Niners were paying more attention to their higher round players. This guy doesn’t seem to be a Nolan kind of player at all. Yeah, he’s gonna beat out Robinson and Hicks…

  26. this ‘guy’ sanfran49 doesn’t have a clue! Nolan & Co. know what they are doing. Those last two picks were great! Clayton is a ‘Walsh’ kind of guy. Tuff, straight-ahead, get the first down kind of runner. Walsh always said ‘draft the RB’s who haven’t been over used, and have some miles left on ’em.’ Clayton is going to be Gores back-up. This guy Clayton is built like a TANK, and is extremely strong. 4.6 is plenty fast for football. He isn’t running in the Olympics. Also BROWN was steal!! He’s a second-round pick if he didn’t get busted.

  27. jeremy, you pretty much nailed it on the head. Darius Walker from Notre dame.did anyone take Rhema McKnight?

  28. no

  29. -“…projected to be a mid 1st round player until until the character issues”–

    When did this projection come out? when he gave up on Florida State or when he was benched? Maybe it was when he attacked somebody in the parking lot.

  30. d walker notre dame ooops!

  31. i think the experts will grade our draft out with an A if not then they are not being honest this draft coupled with our free agent moves are rivaled only by NE whom by the way they are overhyping willis and staly will start look for hill to be the third receiver we even got our 1st round pick back next year from indy outstanding job by Nolan and staff and thank you york for the benjamins

  32. Brown was never on fsu he was always on texas you thinkin bout the tailback clayton get right nigga

  33. Should have used the pick on Corey Hall from Boise State. The guy is a tackling machine and throw in 6 INTs in his Senior season. Why get this troubled joker.

  34. he looks like a monster did u see him? nolan can straighten him out. with all those good character veterans on the team u think he’s gonna mess stuff up? he was our last pick, worse comes to worse, cut him. he looks like a beast though, same build as gore except he looks stronger and meaner. bruiser type. he did average over 5 ypc. this is a low risk great potential pick. nothing to lose fellas, calm down, nolan knows whats up


  36. I agree we should of picked up a center. Maybe a free agent rookie

  37. i say we should pick up a hooker

  38. to all of you all having a bad reply to “T-GUN” Thomas Clayton you all are just mad you cant even get on the field let alone throw the ball so just get off of the shitty attitudes and be happy another young athlete has made it thus far stop “HATTIN”

  39. I feel that Thomas Clayton will be a valuable asset to the 49ers, this kid has no wear and tear on his treads. He will make plays just wait and see. Hate now HATTERS, I promise you’ll wish you didn’t.

  40. […] Related: 49ers Finish Draft with Clayton […]

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