Dan Dahlke: DT Kenny Clark, UCLA
Clark may not receive the same hype as his peers, but don’t go to sleep on him. He may very well be the guy the Packers need to bolster their defensive line, and he should fit right where they’re picking late in the first round. Clark’s an experienced 3-4 defensive lineman, having played both nose tackle and five-technique defensive end in UCLA’s system, which is similar to the defense Capers runs in Green Bay.
He also played a majority of the defensive snaps last season for the Bruins–something many other prospects at his position can’t boast in this draft class. I love the motor and hustle he plays with, especially against the run. He can two-gap and ward off double teams, or he can be a disruptive force in the backfield. He also had a lot of success as an interior pass rusher last season, recording six sacks.
This is something that gives him an edge over the other first-round defensive linemen in the draft, like Jarran Reed or A’Shawn Robinson. Unlike the Alabama prospects, he also was a one-man wrecking crew on defense, consistently taking on double-teams and staying on the field on third downs.
Although I also like Andrew Billings, the Baylor prospect is almost exclusively a nose tackle, whereas Clark can play nose, but he also has the height and athleticism to play as a two-gap defensive end in a 3-4 front. His versatility would give Green Bay a lot of options schematically on defense and would complement well what they already have at the position with players like Letroy Guion and Mike Daniels.
Next: Ralph Mancini