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Clausen Watch Begins

We ran a mock draft in Saturday's paper. Whatever relevance it had was gone in 36 hours thanks to the Washington Redskins' acquisition of quarterback Donovan McNabb. Most mock drafts had the 'Skins taking Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen with the fourth overall pick.

Now there is a good chance Clausen will be available to the Bills at the ninth overall pick.

Kansas City has the fifth pick, and new Chiefs offensive coach Charlie Weis coached Clausen in college. But the Chiefs just signed QB Matt Cassel to a big contract last year (not to mention they gave up a second-round draft pick in the deal). Seattle has a QB need at No. 6, but the Seahawks just traded for Chargers backup Charlie Whitehurst and gave up a third-rounder in 2011 (and also dropped back 20 spots in the second round in a flip-flop of picks with San Diego). Cleveland could use a QB at No. 7. The Browns signed Jake Delhomme as a veteran "bridge" QB. But Browns President Mike Holmgren recently stated he "wished he liked Jimmy Clausen more."

There's a pretty good chance the Redskins now will take a left tackle with the fourth overall pick. So that could have a big impact on which tackles are available to the Bills at No. 9 -- and at No. 41 in the second round, should they take Clausen.

Let the hand-wringing begin.

---Mark Gaughan

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NFL Draft
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