Making a team one-dimensionsional can be a key to victory, and clogging up the middle with a guy like UCLA defensive tackle Kenny Clark could do wonders.
UCLA defensive tackle Kenny Clark has a lot of the key attributes that teams look for in a quality defensive lineman. He’s strong, shows good footwork, and a can use his body weight to redirect plays. Talents like these can go a long way for an NFL looking to address a weakness in run defense at the 2016 NFL Draft.
As for positives, Clark shows off a great wrestling background when he plays. You can see his light steps combined with powerful, sudden moves to keep offensive linemen guessing. If allowed to build up a head of steam, most offensive lineman won’t have a chance of stopping him, as he can use power or finesse depending on the situation to get the better of his adversary.
NFL teams might not like his size though. For a defensive tackle, he’s a bit on the small side as far as height and arm length. Those problems can come into play when tackling, as Clark seems to struggle bringing down ball carriers with strong centers of gravity or bigger mass. He also needs to be more aware of plays developing because he can focus on finishing what he started rather than react to misdirections or trickery.
Here are UCLA defensive tackle Kenny Clark’s numbers from the events at the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine according to NFL.com:
Kenny Clark compares to:
- CBS Sports: Domata Peko, Bengals
- NFL.com: David Parry, Colts
Fit for the Minnesota Vikings:
The Vikings will always be in the market for run stuffing defensive tackles that can absorb blocks and redirect offensive linemen to disrupt plays. Because of that, Clark could be on Minnesota’s short list of top prospects for the 2016 NFL Draft.
I admit that I like Kenny Clark. With some good coaching, I feel he could be a lot more like Bengals DT Peko than some scouts think. But I don’t quite have a first round grade on him because of his tackling issues and because I don’t see him being extremely effective as a pass rusher. Still, any team looking to add bodies to clog up the run game who are willing to work with Clark could get a potential steal if Clark can realize some of the potential he seems to have not unlocked yet.