The Falcons agreed to terms with DE Adrian Clayborn on Thursday during the third day of free agency.
1. First-Round Talent: Falcons defensive end Adrian Clayborn arrives in Atlanta after four seasons with the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay selected Clayborn with the 20th-overall pick of the 2011 NFL Draft. Despite missing extensive time in 2012 (knee injury) and 2014 (biceps), Clayborn's body of work is proven to be productive on the field (including 19 tackles for loss in 2013) and will now be showcased in Dan Quinn's scheme.
2. Starter Productivity: Quinn is all about competition within each position group on his roster, and Clayborn is sure to raise the bar, looking to earn a starting spot. In each of Clayborn's 36-career games in the NFL, all starts, he filled up stat sheets, totaling 121 tackles (72 solo) with 13.5 sacks, five forced fumbles and one pass defensed. Look for such efforts to continue as Clayborn looks for his best year yet in 2015, perfect timing for Falcons fans.
3. Run-Stuffing Defender: The 2015 Falcons defense wants to disrupt the quarterback on every play, shut down passing threats and stuff the run, something Clayborn was created to do. In 2013, the 6-foot-3, 280-pound defensive star tied for the NFL lead in run stuffs (14.5), while his 19 tackles for loss ranked fourth in the NFL and his career-high 64 tackles were the fifth-most by a defensive end.
4. Big Ten Roots: Clayborn made a name for himself during college, starring for the Iowa Hawkeyes, including 37 starts in 50-career games in the Big Ten. He gained attention from NFL execs, recording 192 tackles to go with 19.0 sacks, 37.5 tackles for loss, seven forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery, earning All-Big Ten honors after his junior and senior seasons. He was named MVP of the 2010 FedEx Orange Bowl vs. Georgia Tech after recording nine tackles and two sacks.
5. Social-Media Guru: Falcons fans were ecstatic when they found out Dan Quinn created a Twitter account; each tweet coach Quinn sends tends to be motivating, energetic and engaging. Clayborn is just as fun on Twitter, using 140 characters to cover a wide variety of topics, including hobby advice, movie updates and more. Be sure to welcome Clayborn to Atlanta by following him at @AJaClay.