Atlanta Falcons: Adrian Clayborn becoming star because of Vic Beasley


When Adrian Clayborn signed with the Atlanta Falcons, it was pretty much going to become a last ditch effort to save his career as he had been subject to underwhelming performances year after year. But the marriage between him and the Falcons seems perfectly orchestrated as he now has the chance to become the mentor to another player in the same situation as what he was in when drafted by Tampa Bay.

As you know, Vic Beasley was taken with the eighth overall pick by the Falcons, but what many don’t understand is potentially a teaching opportunity for Clayborn, who is almost the exact image of what Beasley was coming out of college: fast, quick first step, strong and with potential to become perennial All-Pro.

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Beasley, most would say, is undersized and could easily be tossed to and fro by offensive linemen, but the young stud is teeming with talent that, once it is refined, may become a household name.

Clayborn has to see the talent oozing from the rookie from Clemson, and more than likely is ready to see this kid cultivate his God given and become something special in this league. Something that he himself failed to attain early on in his NFL career.

I haven’t spoken with Clayborn, but I can see the change in his game from when he was with Tampa. He is seeing this as a chance for another player to capture what he failed to accomplish during his professional career so far. And once you begin to teach, you become better at what you do.

Therefore, this is not merely about Beasley or even Clayborn, but when the Falcons drafted and signed these players respectfully, they placed them in front of a door and said “go, capture it”.

For Beasley, the expectation is a long career of playmaking, and for Clayborn, it is a sign of redemption. The outcomes may be different, but these players need each other as a reminder of their potential together. And as they knock on this proverbial door, soon enough it will open for them both.

We have seen a glimpse of it in preseason as Dan Quinn has teamed them up on the same side of the line, but this is far more than just the preseason. Those glimpses that we’re seeing are flashing signs of what’s to come as these players, in my mind, have been orchestrated perfectly together and are about to yield the rewards Atlanta could only hope for.

Clayborn is having the opportunity to teach certain techniques of the game, and thus is refining everything of himself and becoming the player that we expected when he was taken in the first round by the Buccaneers. For Beasley, this is a chance to learn from a veteran who has walked the path before. This learning process will set him up for the long career the Falcons dreamed about.

Looking back at this draft, there was plenty of buzz about Beasley. But Falcons fans are about to receive two versions of the same player as Clayborn becomes the star he was destined to be coming out of Iowa.

Next: Power ranking the NFC wide receiver depth charts

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