Patriots gridiron news: Adrian Clayborn is not just a pass rush specialist

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 05: Adrian Clayborn
HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 05: Adrian Clayborn /

New defensive end Adrian Clayborn met with the media on Wednesday and talked about his role with the New England Patriots. 

If you are a New England Patriots fan, you haven’t heard much about the name of Adrian Clayborn entering this offseason.

Now that the 29-year-old defensive end will be rushing the passer in a Patriots’ uniform, there is a lot to know and a lot to love about Clayborn, who has overcome adversity to now be a part of a winning organization that will get the most out of him.

Joining a team hungry for a pass rush presence, Clayborn told the media on Wednesday why he believes the New England Patriots are a good fit for him and the role he expects to play along the defensive line.

"“I mean, just talking to the coaches, they explained what could be my role,” Clayborn said when asked if he was a good fit at this point in his career.  “I mean, it kind of brings me back to my Iowa days where you’ve got to work for what you get, and I’m all for that.  I’m just looking to try to help the team out in any way I can.”"

Coming over from the Atlanta Falcons, Clayborn is labeled a one-dimensional defensive end who primarily just passes the rusher.  Last season he led the Falcons with 9.5 sacks, but with 6 of those sacks coming in a game against the Dallas Cowboys, the new Patriots defensive end is out to prove he can be a consistent pass rush force as well as a versatile defender along the defensive line.

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"“I mean, without getting into the details, just pretty much whatever I prove I can do,” Clayborn said.  “I mean, I know I can rush the passer and I know I can set the edge in the run, so I mean, there’s a couple different positions that they believe I can play. So, it’s up to me to prove I can play them.”"

Adrian Clayborn also believes he can be a three-down player with the Patriots.  If he proves that, the depth the team will have along the front seven will be even greater.  With Trey Flowers, Deatrich Wise and both Donta’ Hightower and Derek Rivers returning, the Patriots should have a nice rotation of pass rushers.  Clayborn’s ability to play on early downs and against the run will enable the team to do some creative things against multi-dimensional offenses.

Around the AFC East 

Miami Dolphins: Baker Mayfield could find himself playing in South Beach next season.

According to the Sun Sentinel, the Miami Dolphins reportedly worked out Mayfield.  With the 11th pick overall in the NFL Draft, Miami could be in position to select the Heisman Trophy winner if he were to slide down a bit.

As one of the top-four quarterbacks entering the draft, Mayfield would backup starter Ryan Tannehill and eventually be groomed to take over the starting position.  While it is unlikely he would be available at that spot, considering the need for quarterback amongst the teams selecting in the top 10, the Dolphins could be an interesting fit for Baker Mayfield.

Next: New England Patriots: ESPN loses their mind and ranks Tom Brady last

Whether he ends up in Miami, Buffalo or the New York Jets, Mayfield will add an element of excitement to the AFC East where Tom Brady and the New England Patriots have dominated for so long.