Green Bay Packers 2018 roster preview: Kenny Clark

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 25: Kenny Clark /

Can Green Bay Packers defensive lineman Kenny Clark continue to play at a high level in 2018?

Coming off an excellent 2017 season, Kenny Clark will be hoping to take another step up in his third year.

The Green Bay Packers’ defensive line will once again be the team’s biggest strength on defense. Kenny Clark is a big reason why.

2017 stats

In 15 games, Clark made 55 tackles, a career-best 4.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. According to Pro Football Reference, Clark played on 65.02 percent of the team’s defensive snaps.

2017 review

It was an impressive second season for Clark. After putting together a few excellent performances late in the 2016 season, many were interested to see if Clark could back it up the following year. The answer was yes.

Playing alongside star defensive tackle Mike Daniels, Clark was excellent, helping make the Packers’ defensive line one of the best in the league. It was far and away the team’s biggest strength on defense.

Odds of making roster: 100 percent

Clark isn’t just guaranteed to make the 53-man roster, but he’ll also play an important role all season for new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, who has spoken about the importance of interior pass rush.

2018 preview

The Green Bay Packers’ defensive line can be great this season.

Mike Daniels, a Pro Bowler last season, is one of the very best in the league at his position. The Packers have also signed former Pro Bowler and All-Pro Muhammad Wilkerson, who played some of his best football with the New York Jets while playing in Mike Pettine’s defense.

I’ve already given you two reasons there to be excited about Green Bay’s defensive line this season.

Here’s another: Clark could get even better this year. He made a big jump from year one to two. Can he take another step forward this season and be considered an elite player?

Austin Gayle of Pro Football Focus believes so. Earlier this month, he named 10 players around the league who are on the cusp of elite status. One of the players on the list was Kenny Clark:

"“The former UCLA standout and 2016 first-rounder flew under the radar as one of the league’s best nose tackles this past season, as he earned a career-high 87.9 overall grade to rank 13th among qualifying interior defenders. He also ranked 12th in run-stop percentage (9.1) and tied for seventh in pass-rush productivity (7.5) among qualifying defensive tackles.”"

A first-round pick two years ago, Clark has been an excellent addition to the front seven.

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He could be set for his best season yet. And alongside Daniels and Wilkerson, this defensive line can once again be one of the league’s best in 2018.