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Transcript: Adrian Clayborn Conference Call 3/21

Q: When did you first hear from the Patriots and what was the recruiting process like for you?

AC: My agent was dealing with them throughout free agency, but I mean, I got the call Thursday. I guess, yeah, it was Thursday and they asked me to come in for a visit. So, I hopped on a plane and met with all the coaches and stuff Friday and it was a good visit, so I decided to sign.

AC: Yep, I knew them. They were scout team players when I was at Iowa. That’s how old I am, but yep, I know those guys.

Q: What have the adversities you’ve faced early in life taught you about mental toughness and perseverance?

AC: Life happens. I mean, through the Erb’s Palsy or whatever of losing my dad and my brother, I don’t know – it just made me the person I am today. Just got to take the blows when they come and throw a couple back at times. So, just learn how to fight and scrap and learn how to keep going.

Q: Why do you think the Patriots are a good fit for you at this point in your career?

AC: I mean, just talking to the coaches, they explained what could be my role. I mean, it kind of brings me back to my Iowa days where you’ve got to work for what you get, and I’m all for that. I’m just looking to try to help the team out in any way I can.

When Darnold chose not to throw at the combine earlier this month, it didn’t raise any flags, but it made this pro day matter a little more. He was the only quarterback among the potential first-round picks who didn’t throw. Did he not want to compete? Was he tweaking his mechanics?

Darnold has enough tape to show teams. He threw 57 touchdown passes to 22 interceptions and completed 64.9 percent of his passes across 24 starts. There were no red flags in any of his athletic testing at the combine (hand size was a question going in, but he measured right around average for quarterbacks). What did he really have to prove throwing to receivers he has never met? He has shown enough promise to be in the running to be the No. 1 overall pick in April’s draft. And he was always planning to throw at his pro day, which is Wednesday.

A pro day setting is perfect for quarterbacks: It’s comfortable, it’s scripted, and QBs get to use the same receivers they’ve played with for years. No quarterback should ever have a poor pro day. But that adds at least an ounce of pressure.

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