Memphis Tigers quarterbackPaxton Lynch
(12) breaks away from UCLA Bruins defensive lineman Kenny Clark (97). Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Kenny Clark, NT, UCLA
Clark is an exciting defensive line prospect to watch on film. He’s incredibly explosive off the line, shows elite quickness and agility for a 6-foot-3, 310-pound nose tackle, and he plays with a tenacity that will endear him to fans.
The junior defensive lineman has still yet to declare for the NFL, but if he does–which many believe he will–he’ll be a well-coveted prospect in the first round. However, considering this year’s depth of early-round defensive linemen, a player as talented as Clark could fall to the end of the first round to a team like the Packers, who may need to address the position early in the draft.
The Packers may lose starters B.J. Raji and Letroy Guion in free agency after this season, and if Green Bay permanently moves former first-round pick Datone Jones to outside linebacker in the offseason, addressing their need on the defensive line could be their top priority going into the draft.
Top nose tackle prospects Andrew Billings (Baylor) and A’Shawn Robinson (Alabama) will probably be off the board in the first 20 picks, but Clark comes in closely behind them in regards to talent and overall potential.
He could be a big-time player for an NFL front seven, and he’s versatile enough to play either nose or defensive end in the Packers 3-4 front. While some may just peg him as a run-stuffing big man, this would grossly overlook his ability to create pressure as an interior pass rusher. He finished his junior year with five sacks and nine tackles for loss.
Bowl Game: Foster Farms Bowl, Dec. 26th, 9:15 pm et. (ESPN) — UCLA vs. Nebraska
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