BROCK AND SALK

12 Most intriguing Seahawks: No. 4, DE Frank Clark

Jul 23, 2018, 11:06 AM

Seattle Seahawks, Seahawks, Frank Clark...

Seahawks DE Frank Clark could be Seattle's top priority when it comes to contract extensions. (AP)

(AP)

Mike Salk and Brock Huard are counting down the 12 most intriguing Seahawks players every weekday morning at 9:30 a.m. leading up to the first day of training camp on July 26. (All 2018 Seahawks Training Camp dates and times can be found here.)

Seahawks training camp 2018: Biggest question at defensive end

The pair continued the countdown Monday morning by focusing on their No. 4 pick: Defensive end Frank Clark.

At a glance

Following the departures of defensive end Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril, fourth-year pro Frank Clark faces one of the biggest test of his career. The 25-year-old is now one of the senior-most players on Seattle’s defensive line, a position group with perhaps the most question marks of any in Seattle’s camp.

Clark saw his most playing time yet last season when he took over for an injured Avril in Week 4. He started the final 12 games of the season and finished with with nine sacks and 19 tackles.

Clark is also one of a handful of Seahawks entering a contract year (more on that here). He was absent through Seattle’s OTAs, but later participated in June’s mandatory minicamp.

Brock’s take

“I’ll say this about Frank Clark: he’s got to be great. On paper right now the biggest area of vulnerability for this team is their pass rush. They do not have nearly the depth we’ve seen over the last decade. Frank Clark can’t be good. He’s been good the last few years. He had nine sacks last year; that is good. He’s got to be great. Because as Brady Henderson says, the drop-off from Frank Clark to the other folks in this personnel grouping is significant. He had double-digit sacks (10) his second year. Last year he had nine with a ton of hurries. He knocked the life out of Carson Wentz and he got after Dak Prescott, too.

“I know the intrigue goes deeper than just his play on the field, and that’s why as you compile this list and he sits at No. 4 it’s not just a question of: Can you go from good to great? Instead, the question is: What’s going on in the head space of Frank Clark?”

Salk’s take

“There are three questions about Frank Clark that make him intriguing: One, will he hold out as he goes into the final year of his contract. Is he actually going to be there on Thursday and, if so, where is he going to be at in terms of his dedication to this team and his longterm fit here? Two, is he a star? Is he somebody that you want to be part of your core on the field for the next four or five years – someone who can take his game to the next level. And then finally, three, what is his influence in this locker room? He showed up in Seattle under questionable circumstances at best. He has for the most part kept his nose clean off the field since being here. We haven’t heard any major allegations or anything come forward about him and problems off the field. On the other hand, we watched in-person as he coldcocked his teammate last year in a way that did not look like a normal training camp fight. It was not a couple of guys and everyone’s scratching and emotions take hold. (Clark) snuck up behind him as everyone was pushing and shoving and punched the dude square in the jaw. It was as nasty and brutal as anything I’ve ever seen in person.

“So, is he going to be here and does he want to be here? Can he be a great player that you want to build around? And if you do, is he the type of personality that is worth your time and a fit into the new locker room?

“He’s got all the talent in the world. He’s strong, he’s nasty, and he’s mean on the field. He tosses guys around, he gets to the quarterback, he’s fast and he’s got moves. He flashes. But is he the right guy? I think that’s why he’s so intriguing. And I don’t know that I know the answer to that yet. He has certainly shown some ability to be the right guy. When you hear him interview, he’s charasmatic and he’s interesting to listen to. So I don’t know. I’m intrigued by him and I know that his success will be paramount to turning the Seahawks into a good team this year. But I think there’s a lot of questions marks, probably more than not, about Frank Clark.”

Previous picks: No. 12, LB Shaquem Griffin. No. 11, WR Tyler Lockett. No. 10, LT Duane Brown. No 9, LB Bobby Wagner. No. 8, S Delano Hill. No. 7, DE Dion Jordan.

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12 Most intriguing Seahawks: No. 4, DE Frank Clark