After one season with the New England Patriots Adrian Clayborn is returning to the Atlanta Falcons. The veteran pass rusher is coming off of his worst season in recent memory, leaving the question what should the team expect from Clayborn?
After registering a career best 9.5 sacks in 2017 with the Atlanta Falcons Adrian Clayborn moved to the New England Patriots. Clayborn served a different role with New England and managed only 2.5 sacks for the 2018 season.
While there was a step back in production for Clayborn there are some factors to be considered. First, is how much the Patriots used Clayborn as a rusher compared to his tenure in Atlanta. He had fewer chances to take down opposing quarterbacks.
Second, is the fact that Clayborn still managed 13-quarterback hits last season only four off from his total of 17 the year before.
Clayborn was still getting plenty of pressure when he was on the field, he was simply unlucky quite often this past season.
Coming back to Atlanta will up Clayborn’s numbers but only to an extent. He is likely to be closer to the player he was in 2016 for Atlanta then his career year in 2017. That season he hit the quarterback 15 times with 4.5 sacks.
This is a reasonable expectation for a veteran who will at times need a break. He will likely be used less allowing the Falcon’s younger players more snaps. Still he is a vital piece to the Falcon’s pass rush and gives them a legitimate veteran option.
He give Atlanta a veteran leader for the defensive line and a great late game option when they need to dial up the pass rush.
Overall Atlanta has had a solid off-season patching their offensive line and shoring up their young defense. It should be a step forward this season not only for Adrian Clayborn, but for the Atlanta Falcons as a whole.