Kenny Clark 2016 NFL Draft Profile

Overview
Position: Defensive Tackle
Height: 6’2”
Weight: 310 pounds
School: UCLA Bruins

Kenny Clark 2016 NFL Draft Profile

There was little doubt Kenny Clark would leave UCLA after he completed his junior season. From a physical and skill standpoint, he was one of the most consistent players and one of the more NFL ready UCLA players among the draft eligible juniors on the roster. Clark was a two year starter at UCLA, although he played in all 13 games his freshman year, starting the last three of the season.

As a sophomore, he started all 13 games and finished the season with 58 tackles, including a career high eight in one game against Virginia. He also earned second team all-conference honors.

Clark started all 13 games of his junior year as well, giving him 29 consecutive starts. He made 1st team all-conference and third team AP All American after posting a career high 75 tackles. Because of injuries to UCLA defensive linemen the last two seasons, Clark wound up seeing playing time as a defensive end, defensive tackle and a nose guard, but he will certainly project into the NFL as defensive tackle.

Strengths

  • Great at planting feet and not giving ground.
  • Very good run defender
  • Was a high school wrestling champion, he knows how to utilize low hips and leverage with naturally low center of gravity
  • Played defensive end, defensive tackle and nose guard in college, so he has diversity
  • Strong hands
  • Drives blockers back

Weaknesses

  • Doesn’t have a particularly change of direction
  • Needs work as a pass rusher
  • Bull rushes straight ahead too much
  • Average size for an interior lineman

NFL Comparison: David Parry, Indianapolis Colts

Teams with Need at Position: Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Bears, Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Seattle Seahawks

Projection: Mid 2nd Round

Bottom Line

The fundamental skills are there for Kenny Clark and he doesn’t turn 21 until October 2016 which means his physical frame still has more upside. He has plenty of strength already, but needs work on the finer techniques at the next level and needs to improve his pass rushing skills in order to have 3rd down value. He often takes up two blockers in rushing situations, which frees up other linemen in a typical 4-3 defense. When UCLA lost defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes in the season opener, it allowed most teams to double team Clark, but he fights through the double teams pretty well and finished second on the team in tackles. Generally seen as having a high football IQ, so the learning curve at the next level should be manageable. There are at least 10 teams that have an immediate need for help at the defensive line position, but this is also a draft deep in DL talent. With probably 7-8 defensive linemen going ahead of him, we are projecting Clark to go mid-2nd round at best and late 2nd round at worst. If he makes it past Chicago or Buffalo in the middle of the 2nd round, then we see Cincinnati or Seattle taking him in the back half of the round.

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