Round 1 of the 2016 NFL Draft was tonight, and the Green Bay Packers chose DT/NT Kenny Clark from UCLA with pick #27. Utilizing their “Best Available Player” (BAP) strategy that most fans and media never seem to figure out, they get a player that can hopefully make the retirement of B.J. Raji a moot point. Round 2 is tomorrow night, and they may yet get the LB that everyone seems to think they should take. Here are some more photos of Clark (who wore #97 in college — we’ll see if fellow current DT Christian Ringo surrenders that number to him), followed by his bio from the official UCLA media guide:
We also found this video highlights film on YouTube to see him in action with UCLA.
KENNY CLARK — ROUND 1 (#27 Overall)
Position: Defensive Line
Weight: 310 lbs.
Hometown: San Bernardino, Calif.
High School: Carter
Experience: 2 Letters
OVERVIEW: Kenny Clark, Sr., went to prison in 2005, leaving 9-year-old Kenny, Jr. to mature faster than most of the boys his age. With the help of his mother and others, Clark maintained a good relationship with this father and turned the adversity into a positive, working hard to become an excellent high school player. He started four games as a freshman in 2013 (31 tackles, four for loss, one sack), then stayed a fixture in the lineup the following year. The 2014 second-team All-Pac-12 selection (58 tackles, 5.5 for loss) graduated to all-conference first team as a junior, using his strength and agility to finish second on the Bruins in tackles (75), tackles for loss (11) and sacks (six) despite lining up in the interior. Clark also showed a knack for batting down passes, breaking up five on the year.
PRO DAY RESULTS: 3-cone: 7.73 seconds
STRENGTHS: Former high school wrestler who can generate torque through upper body strength and leverage with power in his hips. Will hammer finesse guards and centers with initial punch and overtake the neutral zone. Quick to diagnose run direction and will race to set the edge against blocker. Low center of gravity and powerful core make him a challenging block to seal for linemen. Cranks up a nasty bull rush to collapse pocket when single blocked. Plays with plus instincts and football IQ. Has feel for trap blocks and double teams and is quick to read and react to screens. Can work his way through double teams and squeeze the gap.
WEAKNESSES: Short and missing arm length to be better tackle finisher. Allowed unusual amount of broken tackles (4) for an interior lineman. Not a quick twitch athlete. Needs to do a better job of bringing feet and hips through contact. Gets too anxious pursuing down line and can lose backside contain. Despite strength, lack of size will be challenging in some matchups. Straight line bull rusher with average lateral quickness for twists.
DRAFT PROJECTION: Round 2
SOURCES TELL US: "What bothers me about Clark is that he was so much better against weaker competition than he was against better talent. I like him, but not like everyone is hyping him up."
— AFC Pac-12 scout
NFL COMPARISON: David Parry
BOTTOM LINE: Has the strength and talent to be a plug and play 4-3 nose, but lack of size and concerns about his value on third downs could push his draft value into the second day. Clark's wrestling background gives him a huge leg up at the point of attack and he won't be 21 until October which means he's still filling out his frame. Would benefit from a year of rotational work as he continues to physically mature.
2015 — Starter in all 13 games for a total of 29 consecutive starts ... Third-team AP All-America ... First-team All-Pac-12 Conference selection (AP and coaches) ... Team co-captain ... Appeared on the Bednarik, Nagurski, Outland and Lombardi Award Watch Lists ... Recorded career bests in tackles (75-second on team and 25th in Pac-12), sacks (6.0-second on team and tied for 10th in Pac-12) and tackles for loss (11.0-second on team and tied for 14th in Pac-12) ... He had the third highest PBU total on the team with five.
2014 — Starter in all 13 games ... Made 58 tackles (sixth on the team), 5.5 for loss ... Selected to the second-team all-conference squad ... Posted a career-high eight tackles at UVa and at California (1.5 for loss) ... Registered seven stops in games at Arizona State and at Colorado ... Had at least four tackles in eight games.
2013 — Appeared in all 13 games with four starts ... Made 31 tackles, four for loss ... Had a best game of six tackles vs. Arizona State ... Credited with one forced fumble ... Had nine multiple tackle games ... Named Sun Bowl Most Valuable Lineman ... Presented the Ed Kezirian "Coach K" Award for Academic and Athletic Balance at the team banquet.
HIGH SCHOOL — A four-star recruit according to both scout.com and rivals.com … Ranked No. 187 nationally by scout.com … SuperPrep All-West Region selection and the No. 24-ranked defensive tackle in the country … Ranked as the No. 20 defensive tackle in the nation and the No. 34 overall prospect on the West 150 list, according to scout.com … Regarded as the nation’s No. 24 defensive tackle and the No. 39 overall prospect in the state of California by rivals.com … ESPN.com’s No. 56 recruit in California and the No. 41-ranked defensive tackle in the nation … The No. 25-rated prospect in the CA/NV/HI region according to PrepStar … CIF Eastern Division Defensive Player of the Year … Also on the wrestling team … Team went 12-1 in his senior season … Credited with 71 tackles, 11.0 sacks for 64 yards lost, five forced fumbles, one fumble recovery … As a junior, had 31 tackles, 8.5 sacks and 17 tackles for loss … Coached by Alex Pierce.
PERSONAL — Full Name: Kenneth Duane Clark, Jr. … Born in San Bernardino, CA… Parents: Kenneth and Leslie Clark … Has one brother and two sisters ... Lists the NFL's Ray Lewis as the athlete he admires the most … Enjoys spending time with his family ... Interested in becoming a coach.