Clayborn has spent time this offseason working out with former Falcons defensive end Chuck Smith, a well-respected pass rush guru who trains numerous professional and amateur athletes. Smith had 58.5 sacks in eight years with the Falcons and reached double-digit sacks in three different seasons, including his last (1999) at the age of 30.
"I've always wanted to work out with Chuck," Clayborn said. "I've heard nothing but good things about him. Being in the same city, I've got the opportunity to now. The first person who told me about him was Gerald [McCoy]. Then I asked Michael Johnson because he's worked with him. Again, nothing but good things about him."
Clayborn completed three sessions with Smith in between offseason workouts with the Falcons. FOX 5 Sports Atlanta has video of Clayborn's workout.
"Just getting off the ball better and being more violent," Clayborn said of what he's improved thus far. "It's just about being a better pass-rusher."
Smith started D Line Inc. in 2002 and currently trains or consults with 50 NFL defensive linemen/pass-rushers. He has trained 48 first-round draft picks, including former seven-time Pro Bowler Richard Seymour, the sixth overall pick in the 2001 NFL draft.
Whatever Clayborn learns from Smith is an added bonus to the instruction he'll get from his head coach, Dan Quinn. Remember, Quinn earned his reputation in the league for his expertise along the defensive line.
"It's just about being nasty as a pass-rusher and using different moves," Clayborn said of Quinn's philosophy. "It's been good so far."
Clayborn, who turns 27 in July, has just 13 career sacks but also has missed significant time due to injury. He had 7.5 sacks as a rookie in 2011.
Quinn tinkered with playing Clayborn, a defensive end, inside along with Jonathan Babineaux in the nickel defense during voluntary minicamp.
"I think it will be good," Babineaux said of playing alongside his fellow Iowa Hawkeye, Clayborn. "It's the first time in a long time that we've have depth on the defensive line. The competition going into camp this year is going to be off the roof. I'm just looking forward to the vet guys and the young guys competing for the same positions. Hopefully in the end, we'll put forth one of the best D-lines for the season."
The Falcons need to improve drastically. They pressured opposing quarterbacks on 22.3 percent of dropbacks last season, which ranked 29th in the NFL and worst in the NFC, according to ESPN Stats & Information.