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NT Kenny Clark, 22, Hopes to be Dominating "by 25, 26"

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NT Kenny Clark, 22, Hopes to be Dominating "by 25, 26"

Some players suffer a sophomore slump. Others make a sophomore leap. 

Like Green Bay Packers nose tackle Kenny Clark, he's one of the members of the latter's hallowed club.

Clark, 22, has proven to be a household name for the Packers' defense, essentially earning such a title for himself in 2017. While a multitude of players on the Packers' defense struggled last season in different facets, Clark was one of the few of the unit who gutted it out for 15 games. He missed one game due to a nasty ankle sprain suffered against the Baltimore Ravens in November. 

Playing inside as a nose tackle typically has its disadvantages, despite not seeming so on the surface. One would assume playing closer to the ball gives a player more leeway to make a play. However, that isn't the case. But Clark is one of the rare exceptions to that.

Nose tackles typically don't generate tackles and pad their stat sheet to an extensive degree. Meanwhile, in Green Bay, Clark's 2017 season saw him ending the year with 55 total tackles and 4½ sacks which all came in the month of December; all of which are monstrous improvements from his rookie season.

Not only did he lead all Packers defensive linemen in tackles, but he had the most by any Packers defensive lineman since 2009.

"I'm just motivated to be good this year," Clark told analyst Larry McCarren. "I just wanted to improve off my rookie year, and just working hard, being coachable and playing football as I know how.

"You talk to coaches all the time, and most of them say, you usually don't get our strength until 25 or 26, and guys don't usually hit their primes until 25, 26. ... By the time I hit 25, 26, hopefully, I can be in my prime and dominating."

Clark is one of the few positive turnouts from the Packers' 2016 draft class. Selected at 27th overall, he and inside linebacker Blake Martinez -- 131st overall -- both shared similar upward trends in their second season. Both are also going to be stalemates for new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine for the years to come.

It took Kenny Clark 26 career games to register his first sack, but that doesn't speak to his dominance on the interior of the Packers' defensive line. (USA TODAY NETWORK/USA TODAY Sports)

One of the statistical oddities in Clark's career thus far is that, despite his dominance in the trenches, his first career sack didn't come until early December against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He sacked quarterback Jameis Winston and forced a fumble that Dean Lowry -- another member of that 2016 class -- recovered and returned for a touchdown.

That triggered a chain reaction for Clark, who would go on to record three more sacks in the Packers' final four games, including two in week 16 against the Minnesota Vikings.

Clark commends former defensive line coach Mike Trgovac, no longer with the team, for his vast improvement year-to-year, as well as his own personal ability of being "coachable." Being as coachable as he is should make that coaching vacancy a worthwhile spot. The Packers interviewed former Indianapolis Colts defensive line coach Gary Emanuel for the position on Wednesday.

Trgovac's job opening, along with ex-defensive coordinator Dom Capers being shown the door are a couple of results from the Packers' porous defensive performance in 2017. To prevent it from becoming more of a trend than it already has, it was evidently time for some positional changes.

"I thought we played hard at all times. Played with great energy. We fought. At times, we just let plays get away from us and never got off the field on third down, or we couldn't stop people in the red zone. Those are all things we have to improve on.

"On first and second down, we'd be winning. It'd be 3rd-and-11 sometimes, and we weren't able to get off the field. Those are things that we have to improve on going into next season."


Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (71) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Nick Perry's picture

Thanks to RC I'm officially on the "Kenny Clark is a Beast" train and after re-watching some of the games of this past year I'm totally on board.

What excites me most is Clark playing for a DC like Pettine. Chances are really good not only will he dominate this next season but have some flashy stats to go with his dominance.

With all the youngsters the Packers currently have on the roster who with a decent scheme and proper coaching could really take off. I'm sure I'm wrong but I'm even wondering if Pettine can turn Frackrell into a "Player"

Coldworld's picture

It has been said we need to draft a Raji. In fact, I think Clark could easily surpass Raji if he stays healthy, particularly as he seems to be a football person. Give our OLB depth a boost on the outside and Clark, Daniels and co have the potential to be even better.

Nick Perry's picture

I think Clark is already there, ready to pass Raji and be better than Raji ever was. Raji played out of position when he was DE and his "Dominance" was really pretty short lived when you think about it. I don't think that will be the case with Clark at all. Like you said, add a OLB or two to the mix and everybody will be better.

Jersey Al's picture

Raji had little desire to actually play the game. Strictly a "set myself up for life with a bunch of money" and get the hell out. I was told this about him a year or two after the draft by several people who know him.

HankScorpio's picture

He's already matched Raji's career by having one good season. If he has another, he'll surpass Raji.

I look forward to seeing what he and Daniels can do if given more freedom to attack instead of the assignment to occupy blockers.

stockholder's picture

I think your right on surpassing Raji. This is the NFL. If he goes down who plays NT? I can't roll the Dice here. Sorry I think this is the most important position on the packers defense. Def. Lineman were the best in years when we took Clark. While a OLB would be nice, even great. I still believe the packers are not going to get a shot at another Big DL for years. The game is won in the trenches. Collapse the pocket! I believe the packers should try for a DL first. Follow the 2009 draft of Raji and Mathews. I believe you'll get just as good a pass rusher later than early this year. And you know the packers won't trade up for Chubb. They also have to much invested in Perry,Mathews to back off now. I also look what was going on with Jean francis. Released ,resigned just not what we hoped for.

Turophile's picture

Clark is already better than Raji, imo. He also has the advantage of not carrying that huge extra girth around his midsection, so his conditioning is better.

I think he is pretty darn good right now. I think he may get only a little better than he is now, but for me that is plenty. Really like his game.

Nick Perry's picture

Clark is still SO young. He was the youngest player in the NFL when he was drafted by the Packers IIRC. At 22 years old I'd imagine he could continue to get better for at least a few years still. You made an excellent point. Raji had that little "Michelin Man" type belly where Clark doesn't. I wonder how many reps Clark would put up today at the combine after 2 years in an NFL weight room. He is just crazy strong.

Coldworld's picture

Given that we also have Adams and Lowry, I think all we need is a huge runnstuffer to spell Clark and Daniels. A Howard Greene type. I think Dial was supposed to be that last year, but we can probably find one in late round or later FA too.

Tundraboy's picture

Maybe the wrestling background is a good thing, NP. Basketball not so much.

Turophile's picture

@Nick Perry. As good as he should be now, pushing up the bar at 225lb, imagine what he could do in terms of lower body power. He has those huge thighs to generate that 'through-the-body' power, that's a big part of what makes him a wrecking ball.

RCPackerFan's picture

IMO, Clark was Thompsons best pick since Clay Mathews. At the very least best 1st round pick.

Clark in Capers scheme wasn't a guy that was going to get a lot of stats. But when you watched him in the trenches, he was a beast. Constantly taking on double teams.

Like you I am excited to see what he can do with Pettine as the DC. Pettine will alter his scheme to fit the players and what they are best at.

Clark finished with 4.5 sacks on the season. With Pettine, I would not be surprised if he could come close to doubling those stats.

dobber's picture

"Clark in Capers scheme wasn't a guy that was going to get a lot of stats."

I'm looking forward to seeing what the Packers DL will do in an upfield, one-gap scheme...

RCPackerFan's picture

I agree.

I'm really curious to see what that will do with Clark, Daniels, Adams, Lowry. It will be really interesting to see how Pettine runs the defense and how much each player improves based on that.

4zone's picture

Adams is still an unknown factor. If he can play up to Daniels' level that would be great. Lowry I don't see as ever reaching that level but a solid guy in rotation. I want someone like Clark to add to the group to make our DL one of the best.

We should have enough picks to trade to get back into round 1 and pick up a second impact guy. The combination of what positions is the trick. We have so many needs its just tough to give up picks.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I have to run now, RC. Just note that I reply a lot to you because all by your lonesome, you're one of the top 5 reasons to read CHTV.

dobber's picture

The free donuts are the other 4 reasons...

Bearmeat's picture

The ones with sprinkles on them?

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

You two are on the list (somewhere - I am not revealing my board).

Bearmeat's picture

Wait, I'm on a list? I'd like to withdraw my name from candidacy!

Unless this list is about donuts. Then I'm definitely all ears. Especially if they are elephant ears. Those things are delicious.

dobber's picture

We're still talking about donuts and not RC, right?

Lphill's picture

Even he knew the Packers couldn't get off the field on 3 rd and long . Tells you everything right there about Capers defense. Amazing it took this look to make changes . I think we have the core players for a good defense just like others have said here they were not being used correctly.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Looks to me like two of our best coaches bailed on GB in Trgo and Jerry Montgomery. So Kenny Clark credits Trgo and we lose him. Now we are interviewing Indy's DL coach, Gary Emanuel.

Other than knowing MM, what is Emanuel's claim to fame? Does Pettine know the guy? Who is hiring these guys? Doesn't Indy's defense suck big time? NT Hankins is good, but he got coached by the Giants. Indy just bought him. NT Al Woods is only okay, and he too is new to Indy. Emanuel's done nothing with Ridgeway (4th rd.) and not much with Anderson (3rd rd in '15). Margus Hunt is a complete bust (2nd rd. '13). NT David Parry (5th in '15) is okay.

MM knows him. Swell. That means he has a near life-time deal in GB. What has Emanuel done? Not much lately, as far as I can see. Emanuel has been the DL coach in Indy for six years. Looks like Indy just bought Hankins, Woods and Hunt. Holdovers Ridgeway and Anderson are both bad. Parry is okay. Draft and develpment is a joke in Indy. To be fair, Indy hasn't done much in the draft. Still, 5th rounders Montori Hughes, Josh Chapman, and first rounder (24th pick overall) Bjoern Werner were all busts. This is why MM should be fired. ASAP, before he hires any more defensive coaches.

Looks to me like two of our best coaches bailed on GB in Trgo and Jerry Montgomery. I hope Pettine makes this hire, with little or no input from MM. Maybe someone can make a case for Emanuel.

Tundraboy's picture

"MM knows him. Swell'

LMAO. Pretty much the last, if not the exact opposite criteria I am looking for in any new coach, asst, coordinator, etc.

HankScorpio's picture

"Looks to me like two of our best coaches bailed on GB in Trgo and Jerry Montgomery. "

Maybe that's true of Montgomery but that's a very tough case to make with Trgovac.

DL draftees 2009-2014: BJ Raji, Jarius Wynn, Mike Neal, CJ Wilson, Lawrence Guy, Jerel Worthy, Mike Daniels, Datone Jones, Josh Boyd, and Khyri Thornton.

Only Daniels is a real success story. Raji had all the talent in the world but lacked desire so much that he up and quit on football at 29. Based on his play, he mentally checked out much earlier. Some of the others went elsewhere and performed better than in GB. Neal didn't do much in GB until he moved away from Trgo. That's a pretty piss poor batting average of turning draftees into players. Maybe it was all a series of wasted picks on bad players. But maybe it wasn't.

In 2015, Montgomery was brought on board. Since then, the success rate improved.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Trgo was hired by MM before MM hired Capers. So, another swing and miss by MM on hiring defensive coaches, according to your narrative.

It just takes MM so so long to realize he hired poor coaches. If you think Trgo was bad, why was he allowed to crap the bed for eight seasons? I have a somewhat higher opinion of Trgo: he's got Raji, Daniels (4th rd) and Daniels on his resume. Maybe Montgomery is responsible for Daniels and Clark though. I am too lazy to see if those others really did better elsewhere. Thornton did for a bit. Jones bounced around. Wynn didn't do better elsewhere: out of football now and hung around for a year or two. Guy didn't last TC in GB did he? Boyd was out of football after he got cut by GB and hasn't played since.

HankScorpio's picture

You'll have to ask DC & MM why Trgo was employed for so long. You can't seriously expect me to have an answer for that. If you're expecting me to defend MM's staff choices on defense over the last few years, you're barking up the wrong tree. I generally like MM as a HC but he's been so bad in this area that I would not be heart-broken if he moved on.

But I think we found the crux of our disagreement on Trgo. I think Raji is a far worse pick than AJ Hawk. You think he is a resume enhancer for Trgo.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Nah, I don't think we have much of a disagreement, Hank. Raji had truly immense talent. More than CM3. Raji had horrible grades on his scouting report for work ethic and football character. Raji did play well for a couple of years; he was a plus player for a while. Still, I think Raji under-performed his talent. He should have been as good as Wilfork, imo. I don't know really if Raji enhances Trgovac's resume - maybe in a back-handed way: you got something out of Raji, but not nearly all he could have. Could have been Raji's fault since he didn't love football, plain and simple. See Jersey Al's comment above for that.

[I fought the Stroh for years on Raji: never give Raji a lot of guaranteed money was my mantra.]

Oppy's picture

Raji got pushed around on the line like a brownie scout far too often.

Was it lack of talent? Was it lack of desire to play?

I don't care- the bottom line is, you can't call a 340 lb NT who gets pushed 3 yards off the LOS on a regular basis (sometimes by one lone OL) a good NT.

Raji lived off the hype generated by a promising rookie year and a pivotal play in a big game. His career was lazy and sub par.

I can't even fault him for making the money grab- it's what most of us do with our lives- we don't love our jobs, we do them for the money.. But I don't understand how so many fans fell for the hoopla about BJ Raji. He just wasn't that good.

Tundraboy's picture

Not a positive for MM either way, but more telling of how dreadful D drafting has been.

croatpackfan's picture

Wrong place

pacman's picture

That's what happens when you let DC stay 3-4 years more than he should have. Everyone gets tainted and you want to make a clean sweep and start over. I was just blaming the guys on top for lack of results. I can't rate the individual coaches.

I think MM has only this 1 year to prove that cleaning house works. If D isn't significantly better next year, I'm wondering if he makes it to his last year.

At least we have real hope back.

croatpackfan's picture

Nobody mentioned that Trgovac was brought to Packers by Dom Capers. Maybe he wanted to leave with him? DO you considered that possibility?

Also Jerry Montgomery left for, I think, DC coaching job at colege football, and I wish him all the luck and progress for future...

dobber's picture

Montgomery left to take a DL position at Texas A&M, but he's also carrying the Associate HC label. It's a step up.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

No, I don't consider that since your claim that Capers hired Trgo is demonstrably false. [Might have been before you came to CHTV or Jersey Al's site though? Not sure when you started following GB closely.] MM hired Trgo before he hired Capers. Thus, Capers did not hire Trgo. I suppose though that they might have grown close over 9 years and Trgo might have left because Capers got fired. Okay, that is possible.

Montgomery might not have liked pro football, or the A & M offer might have been outstanding. I too wish Jerry Montgomery well. Somebody did a good job on Kenny Clark. Either he had a good teacher or teachers in GB or he was a very apt student and hard worker. Clark himself chose to mention Trgo, and not to mention Montgomery, but that might just be an oversight on his part. Need the context of the interview to know.

dobber's picture

I was sad to see Montgomery go, from an outsider's perspective. It seemed that the DL play started to pick up when he arrived, but it could also be that the level of player they had to work with was better, too.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Thinking about it, Daniels was drafted in 2012 and had 6.5 sacks in 2013 and was definitely good by 2014. Montgomery didn't join GB until 2015. Daniels should go on Trgo's resume.

Still, there is Raji (1st), Wynn (6th), Neal (2nd), Wilson (7th), Elmore (6th) Guy (7th traded right away though right so Trgo didn't get a chance to coach him, right?), Worthy (2nd), Boyd (5th), Jones (1st), Thornton (3rd), Ringo (6th), Clark (1st) and Lowry (3rd). Trgo got something out of Boyd, Wynn and Wilson, even though it was just run-stuffing mostly. IDK. No one really did much outside of GB.

croatpackfan's picture

"Trgovac came to Green Bay in 2009 as part of Dom Capers’ initial staff with the Packers. He had coached the defensive line each season since then."


I was under impression that he came with Dom Capers... If not, I'm sorry for the mistake...

HankScorpio's picture

Trgovac definitely came to GB as part of Capers' initial staff. Whether he was a Capers pick or a McCarthy pick might be something of an open question, I suppose. I was always under the impression that MM only picked Whitt and Moss for Capers and Capers picked the rest. But it was so long ago I could easily have that wrong.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Looks like you're right, Croat. Per, Capers was hired January 19, 2009. Per link below, Silverstein reports on January 23 that Trgo has been hired (though mentions February 3 as the hire date).

Trgo was GB's DL coach when MM was the GB's QB coach under Ray Rhodes in 1999. Guess I always suspected that MM made this hire, and my suspicion hardened mistakenly into fact over the years. Getting Trgo was considered a coup since he was a DC for a playoff team and at $2,6M per year, Trgo had been the highest paid Asst Coach in the NFL in 2006. At any rate, what proof I can find substantiates your view, not mine.

Bested by Croat on a factual dispute - concedo.

marpag1's picture

Bottom line for me ..... I don't think any of us really know squat about position coaches. That's not a slam on anyone. But how do any of us have more than our own vague perceptions, guesses or imaginations of what the guy was doing? Even unit performance is an awfully unreliable metric.

nigrivasilayesrej's picture

Clark, Daniels, Lowry, Adams, Perry - why wouldn't the Packers switch their base to a 4-3? Dline is the strongest position on our DEF, by far, & Perry/Lowry are much better suited to provide pass rush as DEs.

dobber's picture

You just listed all the players who the Packers currently have under contract that you would reasonably expect to play DL in a 4-3. I count 5, so that means one gets to rest on every play!

TommyG's picture

And one injury means the remaining healthy guys take very snap! But I digress. The truth of the matter is that we will still not see a lot of base defense so having only 2 or 3 true DL on the field is the most likely scenario anyway.

marpag1's picture

Plus I think people are running a little far ahead on Lowrey, and they're light years ahead of Adams. Lowrey may be promising, but I think the jury is still out on whether he is significantly better than a JAG. And frankly - wild optimism aside - we have no evidence whatsoever to assume that Adams can even be a JAG. He has no resume at all.

Tundraboy's picture

Has been our best pick in a long time. Clark has been everything we could have expected thus far, and he has a nasty streak too. All business. Just shows it is in fact possible for us to hit big on this year's higher picks. At least one or two.

RCPackerFan's picture

Back during the 2016 NFL Draft I was doing some self scouting of players I thought the Packers might draft. About 2 weeks before the draft I started looking at Kenny Clark. He really jumped out to me and made me think he was going to be the Packers 1st pick that year.

First Thompson became predictable in his drafting. He loved Pac-12 schools. He loved UCLA players. Clark was projected to go in that area of the draft.

Fast forward to his rookie year I thought he was really coming on late in the year. I thought he was primed for a year 2 jump. I didn't expect the jump he made. He was simply a beast all year long.

The one area that Clark really didn't have a lot of 'stats' in were sacks. Those finally showed up late in the year. He ended with 4.5 sacks. But that doesn't take away the fact that he was a dominating type of player.

I saw this link below on twitter about a week ago. I think it really shows how good Clark was. His grade of 87.9 was only behind 4 players in the 2016 first round. (Bosa, Ramsey, Buckner, Jackson). If the draft was redrafted based on those grades he would have been the 5th pick overall. And he was taken 27. That's impressive!

When people talk about the Packers not having good pieces on the defense to work around, I simply disagree. Clark is one of the first players I list. I look forward to see him continue to improve. And when he does, look out!

4zone's picture

Clark, Daniels, Martinez, King, Matthews and Burnett are the core of the Defense. Perry, Lowry and now Randall are the second Tier. Jones, Adams, Biegel and I have to add HaHa as unknowns.

Fackrell, House and Ryan are average but not much more. The rest are pretty much fodder.

We can probably afford one serious impact FA and/or a couple second tier guys. The draft will get us one impact guy and one or maybe two second tier guys for 2018 unless we we trade back up for a second 1st round pick.

Coldworld's picture

I think in the second half of the season Ryan was our best ILB. Martinez faded a bit and Ryan was fresher it is true, but I don’t see him as average in the Fackrell sense.

4zone's picture

I can buy that CW.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Thanks for the link. PFF's top 5 rated off/Def players is interesting as well. Not sure but IIRC anything over 80 is darn good, and over 70 is pretty good, right? 60s is so-so, and less than that isn't so good.

1. Kenny Clark 87.9
2. Mike Daniels 87.0
3. Clay Matthews 83.4
4. Jake Ryan 82.1
5. Nick Perry 80.5

1. David Bakhtiari 88.9
2. Aaron Rodgers 84.4
3. Davante Adams 83.5
4. Aaron Jones 82.7
5. Ty Montgomery 79.5

Guess I don't know if 10 players on the roster at 79.5 or above is good. Too bad 3 of the 5 offensive players were part time in 2017 due to injury.

4thand1's picture

Shit runs downhill. When defensive and offensive coordinators go, the head coach usually isn't far behind. GB getting rid of the d-line coach seems odd, the only unit that seemed to play decent. Was he involved with so many bad picks? The whole defensive unit has been in chaos for years. Every position group DB's, ILB's , OLB's, has been a mess. They kept coming up with different schemes and packages trying to mask each problem. Physco should have been used yo diagnose Capers. The HC in the mean time defended this shit show for years, so that should be on him. For the last few years I cringed when it was 3rd and long. If every team threw on every down, they would have rolled up 500 yards a game on Capers defense, even the teams with bad QB's. So now seems we can get a push up the middle, it's time for some edge rushers.

stockholder's picture

What Edge Rushers do you have in mind? You had elephants playing LB. (Peppers and perry) Mathews hurt etc.! But really don't we have a DE in Perry even Mathews Right Now? This year's draft is weak! (Small school). Weak schedules!! And how much did Clark play in that last game. Even Perry. And when you figure you have your pick, look at the stats in college. The sacks just aren't there. I'm going to give you two guys that would be good HELPFUL picks. Without seeing Combine times or Splash u tube takes. Vita Vea Nt/DT and Trumain Edmunds OLB. Both are rated high on everyone's board. So Who would you take at DE?

4thand1's picture

Not sure, It's up Pettine now, his scheme and influence in the draft will be the key. Will Gutekunst sign a big name FA? Vita Vea plays the middle and could be dominant and would fall under BAP, IMO. He should be gone by 14, but I still like R. Smith and Landry , These guys can play, Landry had 16 sacks 2 years ago , 6 this last year. He was slowed by an ankle injury though.

stockholder's picture

1. FA- Marcus Lawrence should be given a shot. 2. Landry, he's Ok. Wouldn't mind him. He does have an off field issue.1 Not sure if that affects his status. He's a Top 10 pick on some sites. But he is being considered a OLB. Not DE.

Coldworld's picture

Matthews is not a DE. This 4-3 fetish reminds me very much of all the people begging to go to 3-4. Same old blind alley, except that then teams almost all played one or the other exclusively, which is not the case for today.

We just got away from a DC who seemed to be trying to shoehorn players into a scheme and brought in one who has fitted his scheme around his players. Let’s get him the best players and let him do just that.

4thand1's picture

TT and the Packers drafted for need way to much. They should have stuck to BAP instead of trying to put square pegs in round holes all the time. This draft should improve this team immensely over the 1st 3 rounds.

HankScorpio's picture

That's one of the things I like most about the Pettine hire. He is just a DC. He's not a 34 DC or a 43 DC. He takes what he has with his front 7 and uses them the way he thinks will work best. So they have the freedom to get the best edge rusher, whether he profiles as better standing up or with a hand in the dirt.

Colin_C's picture

I'll admit, I was pretty annoyed when we took Clark. Considering Myles Jack was there for the taking, I couldn't believe we went with a "slow, big guy". Boy was I wrong. If we can find another dominant DE to pair with Clark and Daniels, watch out. We could very well have the best DL in the league in a few years. What do you guys think of adding adding someone like Da'Ron Panye or Maurice Hurst?

4zone's picture

I'm all for it. Stuff the middle and collapse the pocket.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Myles Jack would have been a good pick as well. Maybe better. I like Clark a lot though.

Oppy's picture

Side note; Kenny Clark is not at all slow for his size.

A number of times I've watched him scrape all the way along the line through the garbage and get in on a run stop on the perimeter.

He's got pretty good speed for a man his size.

Gute's picture

If Vita Vea is on the board at #14 do we take him to play alongside Clark? Vea is a rare dude, but is the NFL going away from guys like Vea to guys like Clark & the nickel package?

Nick Perry's picture

I've seen Marcus Davenport mocked to the Packers on 3 different sites so far.

This kid IS a specimen, my only concern he beat the hell out of others playing for Texas-San Antonio. He's 6'6" 255

WKUPackFan's picture

No criticism meant Nick - As someone who regularly watches Conference-USA football (which includes UTSA and WKU) it is my opinion that several players in the conference can compete at the highest level. For example, OT Forrest Lamp 2nd round last year to the Chargers. WR Taywan Taylor 3rd round to the Titans.

A lot of guys in CUSA were originally recruited by Power 5 schools, but end up in CUSA for various reasons.

Nick Perry's picture

WKU...I didn't look to see which conference they played in until AFTER I posted that comment. No disrespect meant. For some reason I didn't think Texas-San Antonio was a FBS school. My bad!

I watched some tape on the kid and he really is something. With a good coach to teach him more pass rushing moves the kid could be GREAT!!!

Coldworld's picture

We can only afford so many inside big guys. Daniels Clark supported by Adams and Lowry. If they pick a DL in the first few rounds, he had better be Rodgers level obvious. If there are other positions where we have a need (and there certainly are) with a similar rating then take those. If not try to trade down. Get a big run-stuffer to keep the penetrative guys relatively fresh and you can do that much later in the draft.

Gute's picture

Our roster has talent but we are missing elite play makers. The Jags have four players on defense rated elite or 90% and above. Campers said for his defense to be successful he needed a couple of game changers and the rest just had to be good.

billybobton's picture

Clark is already better than Raji, it is not accidental that the DL was the weakest link when RAJI was playing and became the strength when he left.

It is 100s and 100s of snap going to better players who hustle and try instead of cower on the ground....if you are a raji fan go back and watch him lay on the ground, face down to avoid contact in the dallas playoff game...all raji did was prove snaps were distributed by draft status and not production

Raji did NOT give up NT for the team, he was terrible at it and went to DE in an attempt to get something out of him but he was nearly as bad there as at NT, Pickett saved the day

Raji, like hawk before him would have been out the door on any team that held any standard of accountability on coaches, players or GMs. Instead of watching HAWK look dazed and confused v seattle in the NFC Championship field goal maybe a real player who was awake might have made a difference.

A sad day when people start talking about Raji as if he were anything but a below average guy the last 5 years

TommyG's picture

I recall the inexplicable love for Raji. I will forever remember him taking a cutler int for a td in the championship game. This is how I think a lot of people remember him. While I love that play I will remember watching him get pushed backwards play after play. Why are we all talking about raji anyway?

Coldworld's picture

He was as good as he cared to be, and he cared less and less often as time passed after that season. Very frustrating to watch.

I will always cherish that pick six though.

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"The Bears still suck!"
"A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall. "
"I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious."