Most Intriguing Seahawks: No. 15, DE Frank Clark
During each show until the start of training camp, “Brock and Salk” is counting down the 20 most intriguing players on the Seahawks’ roster. The countdown continued with defensive end Frank Clark. The segment on Clark is embedded above. My thoughts are below.
As a rookie in 2015, Clark showed promise, particularly during a dominant preseason. He then made a big step in 2016, seeing an increase in playing time and earning it with his production along a defensive line that features two of the best players in the league, Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett. The question now is whether the former second-round pick can establish himself as a true star in the NFL in his third year. Clark has impressed everybody from his coaches to his teammates to NFL experts, and he’s for the most part put questions about off-the-field troubles to rest – though he did make waves with a poor choice on Twitter a few months back. There was baggage attached to Clark when the Seahawks picked him in the second round in 2015, and though Seattle did its due diligence to make sure he had the right character, it was a belief that he was a big-time talent that led to the Seahawks looking so closely at Frank Clark the person and then using their top pick on him two years ago. After making such big strides last year, this season will be where Clark can cement himself as a Pro Bowl-caliber player. “You’ve got the gifts to do it,” Brock Huard said. “You’ve got the upside to do it. Now you just gotta do it on an everyday basis, an every-game basis, and be available to do it.”
By the numbers
10. That’s how many sacks Clark made last season, ranking second behind only Cliff Avril’s 11.5 on the team. Avril went to the Pro Bowl on the strength of his sack production, and it wouldn’t be all that surprising if Clark gets a call to Orlando next January with another step forward. He’ll get the chance to show what he can do with more playing time, too.
63.15. That’s the percentage of defensive snaps Clark played for Seattle in 2017, a significant increase from 32.43 percent in his rookie season. The only Seahawks defensive lineman with more was Avril, though Bennett may have had as many or more had it not been for missing some time due to injury. Considering the age of Avril and Bennett (both 31), the 24-year-old Clark will probably be in line to give them a bit more rest, and coming off last season, the Seahawks certainly have to have confidence in his ability to take on a larger workload.
Bennett has been singing Clark’s praises for a while, but even in the midst of doing so he sold Clark short before last season. Bennett predicted Clark would have seven sacks by the end of 2016, which at the time sounded like pretty high hopes. Of course, Clark exceeded that number by three whole sacks, perhaps showing just how valuable it was that he cut a significant amount of weight prior to last season.
Avril and Bennett are proud players, so when one of them is saying Clark is like a combination of their best attributes, it’s pretty high praise. “He has probably the quickest get-off on the D-line,” Avril said of Clark last season. “He’s disruptive, too. He gets off the ball fast and he’s disruptive. He plays reckless. He has my get-off and then he has Mike’s mindset as far as for being disruptive, which is a good combo, I think.”