VDT: Houston QB Clayton Tune Could Be a Steal in the Middle Rounds
The Minnesota Vikings apparently are going to be either all-in or all-out with Kirk Cousins after the 2023 season, and if they don’t get the 35-year-old QB an extension this offseason, it seems mandatory that they go try to get a QB at some point in this draft. One of the players that could be on their radar here is Houston QB Clayton Tune, but what exactly does he bring to the table for an NFL team?
That is the focus of today’s edition of the Vikings Draft Thermometer series, PurplePTSD‘s one-stop shop for all your 2023 NFL Draft needs. Throughout this series, we have examined a number of prospects ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft, analyzing their strengths, weaknesses, what exactly their role could be at the NFL level, and most importantly, whether or not they could end up playing their first NFL snaps in a Vikings uniform.
- Height: 6′ 2 1/4″
- Weight: 216 pounds
- Arm Length: 31 1/2″
- Hand Size: 9 3/8″
- Wingspan: 75 3/8″
- School: Houston
- Games Watched: Texas Tech (2021), Memphis (2022), USF (2022), SMU (2022), Louisiana (2022)
- 2018: 59/117 (50.4%), 795 yards, 8 TDs, 2 INTs; 41 rushes, 53 yards, 1 TD (5 games)
- 2019: 106/179 (59.2%), 1533 yards, 11 TDs, 9 INTs; 66 rushes, 244 yards, 2 TDs (7 games)
- 2020: 170/285 (59.6%), 2048 yards, 15 TDs, 10 INTs; 72 rushes, 253 yards, 5 TDs (8 games)
- 2021: 287/420 (68.3%), 3544 yards, 30 TDs, 10 INTs; 105 rushes, 154 yards, 2 TDs (14 games)
- 2022: 334/496 (67.3%), 4074 yards, 40 TDs, 10 INTs; 128 rushes, 544 yards, 5 TDs (13 games)
Clayton Tune is one of my favorite prospects from this draft class at the QB position. He has a sturdy frame, and he is athletic enough to use his legs to evade pressure and pick up yards after a play breaks down.
Additionally, Tune has terrific arm strength that allows him to fire fastballs into tight windows where only his receiver can catch them. His accuracy has progressively gotten better over the years, and in both 2021 and 2022, he led the AAC in completion percentage.
Finally, Tune does not get fazed by pressure-filled situations. He’s shown up in big moments for Houston over the years, making clutch throws in key situations. That is something that should be considered when drafting the fifth-year senior.
Similar to some of the players being discussed in the first round this year, Tune has all the traits of an NFL quarterback, but he is very raw as a prospect. His footwork is a bit sloppy at times, and when he is forced to throw off-balance or on the run, the passes become a bit erratic.
To add onto that, he occasionally tries to do a bit too much. Sometimes rather than just dumping the ball off or throwing it away, he tries to fit passes into too tight of windows and that results in turnovers.
There’s always going to be the stigma against players in an “air raid” offense like Houston as well, and he can probably bear to improve at reading through his progressions.
- Draft Round: 3rd
- Immediate Role: “Draft and stash” QB
- Best-Case Scenario: Mobile Philip Rivers
- Vikings Draft Temperature: 75
If the Vikings don’t draft a QB somewhere in the first round, Tune is the guy I would have my eye on the most. Don’t get things twisted, he certainly has a lot of development to do, and there is no world where he should be thrown into a starting lineup in Week 1. However, there are few situations better situated for developing a young QB than the Vikings are right now.
Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.