Packers 2016 Recap: DT Kenny Clark
- 13 tackles, 2 fumbles recovered, 2 passes defensed
- Pro Football Focus: 76.4/100 (36th of 127 qualified interior defensive linemen)
Expectations coming into the season: Moderate
Expectations were: Not met
Analysis: Kenny Clark was underwhelming, but showed plenty of upside
Kenny Clark’s season expectations skyrocketed due to something completely out of his control: B.J. Raji retired. The second Raji walked away from the NFL, Clark’s season was going to mean a whole lot more for the Packers.
Sure, Raji’s move happened well before the Packers drafted Clark, but Raji’s one year “hiatus” put the Packers in dire straits along the defensive front and in desperate need for help alongside Mike Daniels. Clark was called upon to fill that void.
If he filled the void, that’s about all he did, because for much of the season Clark showed little of the athletic upside that made him the Packers’ first round pick last spring. He made little meaningful impact on defense this year, and didn’t show up on the stat sheet.
However, advanced stats give a lot more love to Clark, as evidenced by his very solid Pro Football Focus rating. On top of that, Clark saved his best performance for the playoffs, pushing the Cowboys’ All-Pro line around and sniffing out a screen pass to Ezekiel Elliot in masterful fashion. Though he may not have done much this year, Clark showed the Packers there’s plenty to look forward to as he continues to grow.
And here’s the best news: Clark doesn’t turn 22 until October. He’s got plenty of football ahead of him.