Seahawks' Frank Clark could win rookie of the year
Frank Clark had his share of off-field concerns prior to the 2015 NFL draft (Clark was arrested for domestic violence during his final season at Michigan and dismissed from the football team, before ultimately pleading guilty to a fourth-degree misdemeanor), and that’s why he slipped to the Seahawks with the No. 63 overall pick. But if you look only at on-field performance, the Seahawks may have the steal of the draft based on how he has played this preseason.
He was the top-graded 4-3 defensive end in the NFL over the preseason, earning positive grades for both pass-rush and run defense. His run defense was particularly dominating, making him look like Raiders LB Khalil Mack had switched uniforms as he rampaged through the Seattle offense in their final preseason game.
If you look back at his college tape, you’ll see the same dominance we saw this preseason. In 10 games he was the seventh-best 4-3 defensive end in the nation, playing 250 fewer snaps than anybody else on that list and 521 fewer than Ohio State’s Joey Bosa, who topped it. Clark earned impressive grades against the run and pass, notching only five sacks, but adding five knockdowns and 25 additional hurries as well as batting down three passes.
Clark didn’t just produce against weak opponents, either, notching big games against Notre Dame, Penn State and Utah (whose left tackle Jeremiah Poutasi was drafted by the Titans).
Players slip in the draft for a multitude of reasons, and sometimes they have nothing to do with ability on the field. Clark’s issues caused him to slip to the bottom of the second round, but from what we’re seeing on tape he is a top-10 talent and could be in the mix for rookie of the year honors.