It's been an up-and-down last couple of seasons for Clement. Expected to take over for first-round pick Melvin Gordon in 2015, Clement managed to play in just four games with one start (221 yards, 5 TD) due to a sports hernia. He also suffered a hand injury when punching someone in an elevator, and he lied to coaches and university staff about the incident initially. Clement bounced back in his senior year, earning second-team All-Big Ten honors (1,375 yards on 314 carries, 15 TD) as the full-time starter (missing one game due to an ankle injury). The four-star high school recruit from New Jersey showed promise early in his career as a back-up to Gordon (547 yards, 7 TD in 2013; 949 yards, 9 TD in 2014).
Carved-up beach body with impressive definition throughout. Has athletic ability NFL teams desire from the position. Utilizes explosive, sudden jump-cut to bound like a deer from gap to gap. Combination of lower body power and balance through contact allows him to run through weak tackle attempts. Able to elude defenders who bolt into the backfield. Lateral quickness and speed to the edge appear to be in order. Looks most comfortable as an outside runner. Sinks hips for sharper one-cut approach on outside zone plays. Able to string jump-cuts together to slalom around multiple tacklers from first to second level. Has shown enough speed in open field to hit the home run during his career.
Scouts have labeled him "entitled" and question his football character and leadership. Had 2015 season washed away due to injury, attitude and an off-field incident. One speed, monotonous approach as a runner. Lacks burst and drags feet through hole, allowing defenders to get hands on him. Impatient. Runs up the back of blockers rather than allowing plays to develop. Missing improvisational talent and finesse. Not an instinctive runner and lacks feel for development of running lanes between the tackles. Can be indecisive and very impatient. Seems to be waiting for the next jump-cut rather than punching the gas downhill. Can be hit-or-miss with his reads on outside zone plays. Rarely in on obvious passing downs.
Sources Tell Us
"He checked out mentally on the entire 2015 season and wasn't very well liked inside that program. Then you add durability concerns and that's a problem." -- NFC North scout
Clement's lack of durability combined with a lack of value as a third down option could hurt his draft stock, but negative feedback from inside the program could be just as big at this point. Clement has the size and athletic ability that will help him land on a depth chart, but he appears to lack the fluidity, decisiveness, and vision needed to become a dependable, productive starting running back. His best fit might be as a "committee back" in a one-cut running scheme.