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2016 NFL Draft: Is there more to UCLA's Kenny Clark than just power?

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Stout defensive line play is the foundation of a stout defense. They don't get much stouter than UCLA defensive tackle Kenny Clark

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

If there is one point that studying the 2016 NFL Draft drives home, it's how ridiculously deep this draft is at defensive tackle.

Going down the position rankings, it's difficult to find a tackle who wouldn't threaten to be a first or second round pick most years. That means that some awfully talented players are, if not falling through the cracks, then not getting the attention that their talents really deserve.

One of those is UCLA's Kenny Clark, who has been an impact palyer, but seems to be getting lost in the shuffle.

Measurables

Pros

  • Very powerful player. Uses pad level, heavy hands, and great leg drive to bull blockers backward.
  • Active hands keep blockers from latching on.
  • A former wrestler, Clark has good balance and knows how to use leverage to his advantage.
  • Generally shows a good awareness and feel for the game.
  • Very young, won't turn 21 until October of 2016

Cons

  • Doesn't appear to have the quickness to be a reliable pass rusher.
  • Good build, but doesn't have the kind of arm length you'd like to see
  • Might be limited to a two-down player if he can't improve his pass rush ability

Prospect Video

Big Board Rankings

Big Blue View - 37th

Mocking The Draft - 27th

CBS - 36th

Draft Tek -  45th

Does He Fit With the Giants?

The Giants seem to be stockpiling big, powerful defensive tackles, so I would say that Clark fits with that group. His strength and wrestler's background make him an absolute load in the middle of a defense. He often bulls centers and guards right into the backfield, and is a rock when occupying double teams. His age is exciting as well, and he will only get stronger as he matures.

While he looks like a prototypical 3-technique, which is a position that conventional wisdom says the Giants need, he doesn't yet have the quickness to be a consistent threat as a pass rusher. Given his age, it's possible that he could develop that explosive burst and quicken up his feet in the NFL, but that's more of a projection at this point.

Final Thoughts

Kenny Clark is an an intriguing player. He generated quite a bit of buzz over the 2015 season, but it has died down a bit as the draft approaches. He has the power team look for, and the balance and leverage to put it to use. What he doesn't have is the kind of reputation as a pass rusher that teams love in defensive tackles, and that could keep him from making the jump into the first round, but on the other hand, his age means that he likely has yet to hit his potential. A team towards the bottom of the first round could decide that they have the depth to develop Clark and cash in on his potential in 2017.