This series will examine all draft prospects that have official invites to Valley Ranch. Previous research has shown these players are the most likely to be drafted by the Cowboys. For more explanation, read the opening paragraphs here.
Name: Kenny Clark
Position: Defensive Tackle
Height: 6’ 2 5/8"
Weight: 314 LBs
Third Team All-American - AP
First Team All-PAC 12 - AP & Coaches
Bednarik, Nagurski, Outland and Lombardi Award Watch Lists
Second Team All-PAC 12
Ed Kezirian "Coach K" Award for Academic and Athletic Balance
pSparq Score: 105.5 Z-Score: -0.1 NFL Percentile: 46.8
pSparq is an approximation of the "Sparq Score" metric invented by NIKE (with the help of former USC and current Seattle Seahawks Head Coach, Pete Carroll), designed as a way to standardize athletic testing of High School athletes and interpret their athleticism with a sport specific formula. By standardizing a single metric composed of multiple athletic test results, it becomes possible to compare players to the athletic testing scores of players in past draft classes, and to provide context as to how a player will compare athletically to his peers at the NFL level. The Z-Score represents the number of standard deviations (sigma) above or below the mean at a particular position that player falls, 84% of players will have a Z-score of less than 1, 98% will have a Z-score of less than 2, and 99.87% will fall below a Z-Score of 3. There are currently a total of four players who are "3 Sigma Athletes" in the NFL, JJ Watt, Byron Jones, Evan Mathis, and Lane Johnson. For more on pSparq,(and the man behind the math Zach Whitman) check out 3sigmaathlete.com
Measurables vs others at his position:
Note: This spider graph provides a visual representation of a players’ measurable traits, and combine results. The filled in area of the chart, as well as the number in the light grey circle represents the percentile among the player’s peers by position. A score of 85 here represents that out of every 100 players at his position, the player has a better result in that test than 85 of those 100.
Games Studied: Cal, Stanford, Arizona, Nebraska
Clark played all across the interior defensive line for the Bruins. Ranging from a true zero technique nose tackle all the way to a 4i- or 5-technique defensive end. As an interior pass rusher Clark is primarily a power player who relies on lower body explosion off the ball and a ton of upper body strength to push the center of the pocket. His hand technique is good, and he will use swipe, swim, and rip moves to disengage from blockers. In spite of the fact that he rushes with power, he rarely tries to take his man down the middle. After a two-handed punch to the chest he almost always finds a side and works to rush half the man. He is an aware player to recognize the screen game, and turn and chase rather than blindly running up the field.
The run game is where Clark really shines. He plays with such good pad level and upper body strength that he makes life very difficult on the interior for offenses trying to run the ball. He is often asked to two-gap, and control his man while reading the action of the play. As a two-gap player he is able to get into his man, stun him and reset the point of attack in the backfield, when runs come directly at him, or in either of the adjacent gaps he is very adept at shedding, often in glorious fashion tossing blockers aside to step up and make a solid tackle at the line of scrimmage. If the ball goes more than one gap to either side of him he can struggle to disengage early enough to pursue down the line and be a part of the play. Other times it seems like he gets a little caught up in the one-on-one battle with the blocker and misses the ball carrier running past him.
Kenny Clark is a part of a very deep and interesting class of defensive tackles in the 2016 draft. Most of these tackles are more of what the Cowboys look for in a nose tackle, and few are established pass rushers. Clark’s ability to get up the field and use strength to get push inside could be very attractive to the Dallas front office. He has a mid-2nd round grade from me, which would make him a great value pick if he were to fall to 67 overall or a viable option in the event that the Cowboys acquire a pick from 42 to 50 through a trade.