Kenny Clark, DT
School: UCLA | Conference: PAC12
College Experience: Junior | Age: 20
Height/Weight: 6-3 / 310lbs
Projected: Late 1st Round | Actual: 1st Round (Pick 27) by the Green Bay Packers
Clark just announced a few weeks ago he was forgoing his senior year of eligibility to enter the NFL draft. He is just an all-around good football player. It's early but some want to classify him as just a run stopping DT. He is good against the run, but he definitely has pass rush ability that will translate to the NFL. Clark has great vision and discipline. He doesn't lunge and he stays in his gap and on his assignment. He is STRONG and has a high motor. He has a quick first step allowing him to slice through linemen, getting into the backfield causing havoc. There have been many times where Clark has been double teamed this year. He keeps his balance, keeps his hands moving, and stays in his gaps. Many young defensive linemen lose their focus on the football and their discipline when doubled Clark rarely does as you'll see in the film. This is a sign of a football player with great poise and a high IQ. He is incredibly fun to watch. It's clear he has a passion for the game and wants to make the biggest impact he can at his position. At UCLA Clark was asked to play all over the line including the 1, 3, and 5 technique. He brings versatility to the team that drafts him.
Clark was a high school wrestling champ, that skill set has undoubtedly helped him with his hand placement and ability to get off and redirect offensive linemen. It may also serve a detriment, there are times where Clark should let go and pursue but he is caught up winning the battle with the offensive lineman. Even though he may get "sidetracked" so to speak there aren't many defensive tackles in college or the NFL ranks that possess the combination of size, athleticism, and agility Clark has. He is a tough competitor and every time the ball is snapped he is going after it hard.
Kenny Clark made one play where he shed his blocker and made a play at the LOS but it was against back ups, Lowry was quiet. #Packers— Cody Bauer (@CBauerNFLDraft) August 13, 2016
Preseason tape fired up! Kenny Clark making his presence known! Plays with such good leverage.. @KCBoutThatLife https://t.co/nXICRJQPsk— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) August 13, 2016
Really nice job by #Packers rookie Kenny Clark here. Was very good against the run vs #Browns and during hi... https://t.co/Yr5xQyPdsz— Fran Duffy (@fduffy3) August 13, 2016
Packers' draft class could feature two starters: Kenny Clark, Blake Martinez. An early review of the picks so far. https://t.co/NlygGL6Vxr— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) August 12, 2016
Kenny Clark just got into Lane Taylor's chest two plays in a row and drove him right into QB's stride area.— Tom Silverstein (@TomSilverstein) August 10, 2016
How He Makes the Packers Better and Creates Problems for the Redskins
Kenny Clark started training camp working with the 2’s. Now he’s worked his way up into the starting lineup. He looks to be a near lock as the Packers starting NT flanked by Letroy Guion and Mike Daniels. He may also be heavily involved in other sub packages as well. In his recent preseason debut against the Browns, Clark showed well in limited action. Clark is a stout but very active and athletic player. It seems the Packers are pleased with the skill set he’s developed so far rushing the passer to mix him up with the starting lineup.
It's been reported Clark is the only defensive player in Packers camp to have a “winning” one-on-one record as he has gotten past starting center JC Tretter a few times. If Clark can continue his early success into the regular season he looks to be an integral piece to the Packers defensive line for many years to come. The Redskins should not take him lightly. As we saw in last years playoff game against the Packers the running game really struggled and the offensive line had trouble in pass protection. Clark is exactly the type of player who can expose both. With the Redskins interior line still looking a bit suspect especially at the center and left guard positions one can only hope that experience and familiarity will play to the Redskins advantage.