Clayton Tune, QB, Houston | NFL Draft Scouting Report

The Houston Cougars have had one of the most prolific passing offenses over the past two seasons, and 2023 NFL Draft QB prospect Clayton Tune was the engine of the attack. Let’s take a closer look at Tune’s scouting report and determine when he might hear his name called this coming April.

Clayton Tune NFL Draft Profile

  • Position: Quarterback
  • School: Houston
  • Current Year: Redshirt Senior
  • Height/Weight: 6’2 1/2″, 220 pounds
  • Arm: 31 3/8″
  • Hand: 9 3/8″

Sometimes, when you’re in the right spot, you just know. Tune eventually had that feeling in the 2018 recruiting class when he came out as a three-star recruit.

Tune initially committed to the Kansas Jayhawks with the intent of playing Power Five football. But he soon decommitted when more schools showed interest. The Cougars offered him a scholarship in May of 2017. He’d take a visit to Houston in January of the following year and committed a day later.

MORE: 100% Free NFL Mock Draft Simulator

Houston was the right spot for Tune, and an illustrious five-year career would prove that. Tune immediately saw starting action in 2018, in relief of then-starter D’Eriq King. He’d then start the final seven games at quarterback in 2019 before taking on the full-time starting role in 2020, as well as earning the title of captain.

Tune didn’t truly take off until 2021, however. That year, Tune completed a career-high 68.2% of his passes for 3,546 yards, 30 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. And as a fifth-year senior, he came back with an equally impressive farewell campaign, amassing 3,845 yards, 37 scores, and 10 picks.

All told, Tune completed 938 of 1,471 passes for 11,767 yards, 101 touchdowns, and just 41 interceptions in his collegiate career. He also ran for over 1,000 total yards and added 15 scores on the ground. With that career now concluded, he’ll look to follow in the footsteps of Cougar alums Case Keenum and Kevin Kolb and find a place in the NFL.

Clayton Tune Scouting Report


  • Good arm elasticity and torquing ability on the run
  • Flashes above-average arm strength and creation capacity
  • Stellar tester who quietly has great athleticism for his size
  • Elite competitive toughness in clutch situations
  • Superb pocket navigator with poise and discipline
  • Has a good internal clock and can sense backside pressure
  • Can use micro-movements to maintain spacing while keeping eyes up
  • Glimpses of exceptional layering and precision on seam passes
  • Solid, prototypical frame with good mass

Areas for Improvement

  • Lacks an elite over-arching physical skill set and overestimates his ability
  • Middling processor with inconsistent field vision and anticipation
  • Sometimes hesitates and is late to trigger on passes
  • Doesn’t have the arm strength to consistently drive downfield
  • Feet can be unstable in-phase, causing shoulder misalignment
  • Doesn’t always extend fully on release, draining velocity
  • Will, at times, attempt to force predetermined throws

Houston QB Clayton Tune Current Draft Projection

Tune grades out as a mid-to-late Day 3 prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft, but he’s not on the fringe. While there’s never complete certainty for Day 3 prospects, Tune should be able to earn a selection at some point in the 2023 NFL Draft, as he has a lot of coveted traits from a backup or spot-starter.

Tune is closer to average than elite in most areas, but he does have above-average physical tools. He’s a good athlete for his size — as evidenced by his 4.64 40-yard dash, 37.5″ vertical, 10’2″ broad jump, and 6.89 three-cone at the NFL Combine. He also flashes above-average arm strength and has enough elasticity to adjust his throwing angles and work off-platform.

MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Big Board

Along with his passable talent, Tune also brings elite toughness, poise, and exceptional pocket management skills to the fold. Not only is he composed under pressure, but he has the spatial awareness to make subtle adjustments and keep himself clean, always keeping his eyes up.

Tune isn’t the best processor at the moment, which impacts his consistency as a thrower. His trigger can be late, and his field vision runs hot and cold. Mechanically, he can improve as well, as his accuracy wanes at times. These limitations prevent Tune from rising any farther up the draft board.

Still, Tune has enough talent to potentially field interest from Round 4 onward — and his strong Senior Bowl showing could help him drift to the front end of that range. He can be a quality developmental backup early on, and if he can keep honing the mental side of his game, he could go on to be a solid spot-starter and safety blanket.

Tony Pauline’s Scouting Report for Clayton Tune

Strengths: Tough, resilient QB, who has shown tremendous progress in his game over the past three seasons. Poised in the pocket, patient, and natural looking off the safety. Buys time for receivers, goes through progressions, and makes good decisions. Easily rolls outside the pocket and keeps his eyes downfield. Sets up screen throws, delivers the ball to the underneath outlet if nothing else is available, and only takes off upfield when necessary.

Quickly identifies the open wideout and possesses a quick release and a live arm. On the same page as receivers, in complete control of the situation, and leads by example. Very elusive, consistently scrambles away to keep the action alive, and improvises once plays break down. Accurate with his throws in the middle of the field and has a legitimate deep arm.

Weaknesses: Struggles with his accuracy on lateral passes or throws to the flanks. Must improve his timing. Late delivering the ball and has receivers waiting.

Overall: Tune has been underestimated in the scouting community the past two seasons despite totaling more than 7,100 yards passing with 65 touchdowns. He’s a very accurate passer between the numbers, though he must improve his throws to the sidelines. Tune is a developmental prospect with the physical skills and mental intangibles to be a backup QB on Sundays.

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