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    Clayton Tune, QB, Houston | NFL Draft Scouting Report

    With Kyler Murray recovering from injury, the Arizona Cardinals could rely on fifth-round rookie Clayton Tune early on to keep the offense afloat. Can he do it?

    The Houston Cougars had one of the most prolific passing offenses in college football through the 2022 season, and 2023 NFL Draft QB prospect Clayton Tune was the engine of the attack. Now that Tune has been drafted by the Arizona Cardinals, let’s take a closer look at his scouting report and how he might project at the NFL level.

    Clayton Tune NFL Draft Profile

    • Position: Quarterback
    • School: Houston
    • Current Year: Redshirt Senior
    • Height/Weight: 6’2 1/2″, 220 pounds
    • Arm: 31 3/8″
    • Hand: 9 3/8″

    Sometimes, when you’re in the right spot, you just know. Tune eventually had that feeling in the 2018 recruiting class when he came out as a three-star recruit.

    Tune initially committed to the Kansas Jayhawks with the intent of playing Power Five football. But he soon decommitted when more schools showed interest. The Cougars offered him a scholarship in May of 2017. He’d take a visit to Houston in January of the following year and committed a day later.

    Houston was the right spot for Tune, and an illustrious five-year career would prove that. Tune immediately saw starting action in 2018, in relief of then-starter D’Eriq King. He’d then start the final seven games at quarterback in 2019 before taking on the full-time starting role in 2020, as well as earning the title of captain.

    Tune didn’t truly take off until 2021, however. That year, Tune completed a career-high 68.2% of his passes for 3,546 yards, 30 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. And as a fifth-year senior, he came back with an equally impressive farewell campaign, amassing 3,845 yards, 37 scores, and 10 picks.

    All told, Tune completed 938 of 1,471 passes for 11,767 yards, 101 touchdowns, and just 41 interceptions in his collegiate career. He also ran for over 1,000 total yards and added 15 scores on the ground. With that career now concluded, he’ll look to follow in the footsteps of Cougar alums Case Keenum and Kevin Kolb and find a place in the NFL.

    Clayton Tune Scouting Report

    Strengths

    • Good arm elasticity and torquing ability on the run
    • Flashes above-average arm strength and creation capacity
    • Stellar tester who quietly has great athleticism for his size
    • Elite competitive toughness in clutch situations
    • Superb pocket navigator with poise and discipline
    • Has a good internal clock and can sense backside pressure
    • Can use micro-movements to maintain spacing while keeping eyes up
    • Glimpses of exceptional layering and precision on seam passes
    • Solid, prototypical frame with good mass

    Areas for Improvement

    • Lacks an elite over-arching physical skill set and overestimates his ability
    • Middling processor with inconsistent field vision and anticipation
    • Sometimes hesitates and is late to trigger on passes
    • Doesn’t have the arm strength to consistently drive downfield
    • Feet can be unstable in-phase, causing shoulder misalignment
    • Doesn’t always extend fully on release, draining velocity
    • Will, at times, attempt to force predetermined throws

    Clayton Tune’s 2023 NFL Outlook

    Tune graded out as a mid-to-late Day 3 prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft, and that projected range ultimately rang true. He was selected by the Arizona Cardinals in Round 5 of the 2023 NFL Draft. He has a lot of coveted traits from a backup or spot-starter, and those traits could come in handy early on.

    Tune is closer to average than elite in most areas, but he does have above-average physical tools.

    He’s a good athlete for his size, as evidenced by his 4.64 40-yard dash, 37.5″ vertical, 10’2″ broad jump, and 6.89 three-cone at the NFL Combine. He also flashes above-average arm strength and has enough elasticity to adjust his throwing angles and work off-platform.

    Along with his passable talent, Tune also brings elite toughness, poise, and exceptional pocket management skills to the fold.

    Not only is he composed under pressure, but he has the spatial awareness to make subtle adjustments and keep himself clean, always keeping his eyes up.

    Tune isn’t the best processor at the moment, which impacts his consistency as a thrower. His trigger can be late, and his field vision runs hot and cold. Mechanically, he can improve as well, as his accuracy wanes at times. These limitations prevented Tune from earning consistent early-round interest.

    Still, Tune has enough talent and operational utility to see the field relatively early, and his strong Senior Bowl showing was proof of that. He can be a quality developmental backup early on, and if he can keep honing the mental side of his game, he could go on to be a solid spot-starter and safety blanket.

    Kyler Murray will start the 2023 campaign on the PUP list. And though veteran Josh Dobbs is first in line for the starting role with Murray out, Tune could certainly play very early on in his Cardinals career.

    Murray will ultimately take the reins when healthy, but from Day 1 through his entire rookie contract, Tune will have the chance to prove himself as a quality safety blanket in the QB room.

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