Kenny Clark   DT/DE   UCLA

Kenny might be one of the smartest defensive linemen in this draft who is playing out of position and in the wrong style of defense for his athletic talents. He has good feet and decent lateral agility as well as excellent lower body strength and explosion off the line of scrimmage to make plays in the backfield. On obvious pass rushing downs, Kenny can play inside or outside in a 3-4 defense and give a team some pass rushing pressure into the backfield. He is an excellent teammate and shows leadership skills through his play on the field. Kenny has played mostly on the nose of his opponent’s center and over the guard and although it is commendable and he has played with excellent effort, unfortunately, in most cases, he has been overmatched especially in the run game. In spite of that, Kenny has stood his ground and done the best he could under the circumstances and I think being over-matched has made Kenny adjust and become smarter off the snap of the ball. I would describe Kenny as a smart, athletic football player playing out of position and in a defense that does not match his athletic talents.

Kenny is not a nose tackle and he is not a defensive end for a 4-3 defense but he should be an excellent Defensive End in a 3-4 defense. He needs to be in a system that uses his athletic talents to move quickly and with power in stunts, moving from side to side of defense, standing up at times, in a three point stance at other times. He has to improve his upper body strength and his ability to shed blocks by improving and quickening his hand usage. He also should slim down a little bit to gain even more quickness. Kenny has the work ethic to improve in all of these areas and with better coaching.

Kenny can become a core player and an impact player, but it will take an adjustment time to do it. He is the type of player who can do a lot of different things for a defense but what he lacks right now is the brute strength and size to be a nose tackle. Although he could build himself up even more and might become a decent interior lineman, I think his athleticism and impact will be swallowed up. I just think that Kenny has more to offer to a defense then being stuck in the middle of the line trying to out leverage and out strength guards and centers. I think if you ask him to lose a little weight and gain more strength, Kenny will become more impacting and more disruptive force as you will allow his athleticism and football intelligence to run up against tackles and guards and cut down his angles to attack the quarterback and get into the backfield. He can be a core player and fan favorite for the team that selects him if they use him in a different way than he has been used by his college team.

Drew Boylhart  MAR.2016