For someone who prematurely dropped the football at the one-yard line against Oregon–and then watched his mistake go viral–Kaelin Clay is handling the pressure remarkably well. And if you are the son of Flipper–as in NFL legend Flipper Anderson–you already know you have a target on your jersey the minute you’re born.
And so for fellow Utah Utes football players Clay and Dres Anderson, the NFL Combine is probably just more of the same. More pressure on a national scale. More scouts, more scrutiny, more, more, more. Everybody talking about you, writing things about you in their notebooks as they break down every little facet of your game.
Clay’s future probably doesn’t revolve around being a wide receiver, anyhow, but he still gave it his best shot on Sat. Feb. 21 on a day when all the talk was centered on other guys. Clay participated in six events, grading out at 5.08 according to NFL. com reporter Lance Zierlein.
Clay ran an underwhelming 4.51 40-yard dash to highlight his time in frigid Indianapolis, where the Long Beach Poly High product probably collected as many brownie points by just being a really approachable and funny guy as he did with some underperforming at Lucas Oil Stadium.
True to form though, Clay accepted responsibility for his poor 40 time and vowed to do better at Utah’s Pro Day next month. “A 40 time doesn’t defy you as a player disappointed but it’ll get better y’all see what I do on the field,” Clay tweeted afterwards.
Zierlein sees Clay playing on Sundays, but not necessarily as a receiver. “Clay’s size and playmaking ability as a receiver aren’t going to do much for most teams, but his return ability gives him a shot at making a team,” said Zierlein.
If you saw Clay’s Valentine’s Day meme, you know he’s over all that noise from the Oregon game. His premature evacuation of the ball is ancient history, son.
As for Dres Anderson, who blocked yours truly from his Twitter feed because he didn’t have a sense of humor over a certain writer teasing him for being a little soft during the Utes’ ice bucket challenge, well, yeah.
Naturally, Anderson’s a bit on edge anyway, given that he tore the meniscus in his knee earlier in the season and so you can understand his frustration somewhat. At any rate, not participating in any event except for the bench press was probably by design due to his injury, from which he’s still recovering.
Anderson’s chances of getting drafted high ride on what he does at Utah’s pro day, where he plans to run for scouts next month. In the meantime, both players do stand a chance of being drafted in the later rounds, where the money isn’t guaranteed–nor are the roster spots. Knowing these two players though, that’s probably the way they like it. You already know Clay does.