Kenny Clark is one of the many early entrants into the 2016 draft. Clark left UCLA after his junior season and will not even be of legal drinking age until October 4, 2016. While young, Clark is an experienced defensive lineman. During his three-year stay in Los Angeles, Clark played in 37 games and started 30, including the final 29 games of his college career.
Clark's Sophomore campaign ended with a total of 58 tackles, including 5.5 tackles for loss. This was good enough to see him named to the second-team All PAC-12. Clark continued to progress as he posted 75 tackles in 2015, placing him second on the Bruins in tackles. Clark also registered 11 TFL and 6.0 sacks. After his junior year, Clark was named a third-team AP All-American and a first-team All PAC-12. Clark announced for the 2016 NFL Draft after receiving a second round grade from the NFL Draft Advisory Board.
Clark is a former high school wrestler and shows good reaction and good body control when engaging blockers. He has great strength and put up 225 pounds on the bench 29 times at the NFL Scouting Combine. Still, the Combine did not showcase the sort of quickness he was hoping to demonstrate. Clark appears quick on film, but posted a disappointing 4.62-second 20-yard shuttle and did not participate in the 3-cone drill. Clark did the 3-cone drill at UCLA's pro day (March 9th) and showed some quickness with a 7.73 second time (which would put him just ahead of Jarran Reed and D.J. Pettway of Alabama).
At UCLA, Clark showed the ability to be an effective inside pass rusher. He uses his strength well, but he might be too reliant on power-based bull rush techniques. He will have to show some additional skills to see more time in a defensive rotation. Clark was also used primarily in a 4-3 defense at UCLA and might be a bit small for a nose tackle position, but the Bruins did line up in a 3-4 as well. At 6'3" and 314 pounds, he could be a valuable defensive end in a 3-4 rotation while contributing some snaps over the nose. He is most valuable as a run stopper. The general opinion is he could be an immediate impact in a 4-3 defense, but might be more effective as a rotational player in the first year or two as he continues to fill out.
The intangibles are something of note. In 2005, Clark's father was sentenced to prison and the young Clark was asked to take on more responsibilities in the family. Clark is a mature individual and has made himself into a fine football player in the shadow of this difficult situation.
Clark could be very useful in the Packers 3-4 scheme as a run stopper who has pass rush abilities. The problem is he will fit better in a 4-3 scheme and the Packers will likely see him as a future impact guy used on a rotational basis in the first year or two. As such, other teams are likely to have a higher value assigned to Clark than the Packers. Still, recent mocks have the Packers going with the young man out of UCLA, possibly due to the recent hiatus announced by B.J. Raji. While he appears to me to be a second round talent, the other consideration is the value of the pick at that location. With the depth at defensive line in this draft, Ted Thompson might opt to wait on a defensive tackle. If so, Clark will probably not still be on the board in the late second round.