Given that the Dolphins have officially signed him, I thought it pertinent to post a small thread with a few observations from film study I've done on Clabo. Since the end of the draft, I watched every single snap for both him and Eric Winston for the 2012 season on NFL Rewind, in anticipation of one of them signing with the 'phins.
Standard disclaimers: No, I don't have a copy of the gameplans, specific line calls, or even attended any of the games observed. Yes, player performance is affected by scheme and specific responsabilities. No, I never played in the NFL.
There are two games that stand out for me when evaluating Clabo. These games are, not coincidentally, against the (IMO) better DLs/pass rushers he faced during the year: Denver in week 2, and Seattle during the Divisional round of the postseason. Both games were inside the dome, so pass rushers were at their top form. I highly recommend you go watch them, they give you a good general idea of what his abilities are. Here are some thoughts on what jumps out for me from that slice of his season.
For that week 2 game, Clabo was basically lined up against Von Miller all game, with the occasional duel against Derek Wolfe for variety (particularly on inside rushes). This is an immediate reason to focus on this game, because it's one of the rare times when he got to face a top-flight pass rusher all game long. For the most part, he was solid - or at least as solid as a RT is expected to be against one of the better edge guys in the league. His set is a bit high but he's still able to fend off most bullrushes, and he shows interesting techniques for dealing with wide paths - from the textbook feet-arm herding downfield, to a sort of cut block to buy time for his QB. He does seem to struggle against spins - consistently enough I wonder if he's ever worked on that.
Clabo is active but not that fast - his pulls aren't exactly the stuff of dreams, and his downfield blocking usually finds him lost in space, unable to block no one. He also lacks in lateral blocking, a trait in which Winston is superb (probably the *only* trait in which Winston is superb). His stunt recognition is also pretty good - most of the stunt plays on the (offensive) right involved Miller and Wolfe, and Clabo was never responsible for a single pressure on these plays. Miller often picked on Garrett Reynolds (RG) and found pressure there.
The Divisional round (mostly) sets Clabo up against a trio of very different players. Red Bryant isn't going to be confused with a pass rusher anytime soon, but he's pretty nifty for a 3-4 end. Alan Branch is a gap stuffer, and Bruce Irvin was a rookie pass rushing sensation of 2012.
Clabo handled Irvin off the edge pretty well. Irvin is a rusher easily defeated by Clabo: not that heavy, and thus easy to herd out and deep into the backfield. But for one play in which Irvin spun out of Clabo's reach (and yes, this keeps showing up) the rush was pretty well accounted for. Dealing with Bryant is another story: #79 isn't fast, but strong enough to shove Clabo aside, which he did on numerous occasions to generate edge pressure.
Strength isn't so much an issue on open space, like on ZBS stretch plays where Clabo can gather momentum and push someone downfield. This suggests he needs to spend some time on the weight room if he plans to improve on his short area strenght, but at 31 that's probably a long shot. This shows up when trying to clear Branch head-on, a battle Clabo usually lost.
Anyway, those are my very quick observations. I think it's a good signing for a Dolphins team that *needed* to add someone to the OL, and he's probably a push wrt Martin at RT (considering 2012 performance alone).