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Corey Clement, RB – 2017 Draft Prospect

Wisconsin (10-3) will face undefeated Western Michigan (13-0) in the Cotton Bowl on Monday, January 2nd. Corey Clement is Wisconsin’s primary running back at 5-foot-11-inches, 227-pounds and 22.1 years of age.

Clement comes into this game as Wisconsin’s leader in rushing yards and his yardage ranks second in the Big 10. Clement posted the best game of his career in the Big 10 Championship against Penn State when he totaled 161 yards on 21 carries which included a 67-yard touchdown run.

PRODUCTION

With Melvin Gordon having one of the NCAA’s all-time rushing total years in 2014, Clement was still able to make some noise by accumulating 1068 total yards and 11 touchdowns. His 2015 campaign was a disaster though as Clement started off poorly versus Alabama in the season opener and then suffered a sports hernia that required surgery in Munich (for reasons I don’t understand). Instead of making it back to finish the season Clement was suspended for fighting and then lying about details of the incident to his new coach.

Year Class G Att Yds Avg TD Rec Yds Avg TD

2013

 FR

8

67

547

8.2

7

1

9

9.0

0

2014

 SO

14

147

949

6.5

9

14

119

8.5

2

2015

 JR

4

48

221

4.6

5

2

19

9.5

0

2016

 SR

12

292

1304

4.5

14

10

104

10.4

0

Although he rushed for 1304 yards and caught 10 passes for 104 yards his yards per carry fell significantly from his 2013 and 2014 seasons. During his senior season Clement had to share the carries with Dare Ogunbowale, Taiwan Deal and true freshman and future starter Bradrick Shaw. Ogunbowale had served as the primary back when Clement when down in 2015 and then took on the role as the change-of-pace and receiving back with 22 receptions in 2016.

Clement started off his college career under Head Coach Gary Anderson who opened the offense up somewhat (for Wisconsin standards). Once Anderson left for Oregon State before the 2015 season, Clement then remained as the starter under the more running back centric style of head coach Paul Chryst.

MSCar

MSRus

nonQBR

MSScrim

2014

23%

33%

25%

16%

2016

48%

28%

54%

28%

Clement never demanded elite volume levels but he was a key component of the team’s carries during his sophomore and senior seasons as detailed here. Depending on the landing spot Clement could play numerous roles up to potentially seeing work in a three-down role.

SIMILAR PLAYERS

After running a number of scenarios in both the RB Prospect Lab and the Box Score Scout I am most comfortable using Stevan Ridley as the best pre-Combine comparable to Corey Clement. The size of Ridley combined with a lower market share of rushing was where I settled in the analysis. It will be interesting to apply Clement’s Combine numbers to similar players.

stevan-ridley-similar

Year Class G Att Yds Avg TD Rec Yds Avg TD
Stevan Ridley

2010

JR

13

249

1147

4.6

15

11

61

5.5

0

Corey Clement

2016

SR

12

292

1304

4.5

14

10

104

10.4

0

CONCLUSION

At the moment Clement is projecting as a third round selection in the NFL Draft by CBS Draftscout. For perspective, his current status has him roughly ahead of Wyoming’s Brian Hill and right behind D’Onta Foreman and Wayne Gallman. Clement has a good matchup with which to impress in the Cotton Bowl and could use a strong NFL Combine to stabilize his position or move up in the rankings.

Shawn Siegele contemplates a scenario where Clement backs up Carlos Hyde in San Francisco next season. They’re actually similar in terms of size and college production although Hyde recorded a much high yards per carry in his final season.

There’s some reason for optimism considering he’s flashed some receiving skills and has displayed production similar to a number of NFL running backs. I’d welcome Clement as-is on a number of my teams.

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