No player on Green Bay’s defense has been more consistent and dominant than defensive tackle Kenny Clark. He’s progressed in each of his three NFL seasons and is now starting to show why the Packers used a first round pick on him back in 2016. He started to show significant signs of an impact last season but now he is blossoming into a true game changer. To the point that he will likely earn his first Pro-Bowl invite if he stays healthy.
Pro Football Focus has Clark graded as the fourth overall defensive lineman in the league and looking at his stats, it’s not hard to see why. For the 2018 season, he’s totaled 19 tackles, 17 quarterback hurries, two sacks, and one forced fumble. Clark’s tackle and hurries rank third and fourth respectively for his position.
These numbers aren’t surprising as the former UCLA Bruin is one of the first players that stands out on film. Whether playing against the run or pass, tackle or guard, no.97 is usually disrupting things at the line of scrimmage.
On Monday night, he had his way with the San Francisco 49ers offensive line racking up six tackles, one tackle for loss, and one sack.
I mean no disrespect to Mike Daniels, but Clark is the Packers best lineman and that’s why he’s getting the most snaps (321). The team wants to get the most out of a developing young player who just turned 23 years old earlier this month. Granted he’s at a slight disadvantage seeing that defensive lineman typically have to wait for notable recognition. However, Clark is already garnering attention around the league as teams have to prepare for his ability to fend off blockers.
As a result, Green Bay’s 11th ranked defense is leaning heavily on Clark’s play. If he stays healthy Clark will easily make his first Pro-Bowl and could even be in consideration for either of the All-Pro teams.
___________________Brandon Carwile was a Cheesehead at birth. His dad grew up attending games at Lambeau and passed on the legacy. He has covered the Packers for over five years and currently works with packerstalk.com. Find him on twitter at @PackerScribe.