Packers 2017 Recap: WR Michael Clark
Michael Clark became just the fifth player over 6-6 in Packers history to catch a pass. The athletic receiver has a very short resume – a single season of college basketball at St. Francis and a single season of college football at Marshall – and declared eligible for the NFL Draft despite a year of eligibility remaining.
The Packers saw raw potential, signing Clark and keeping him around Green Bay in 2017. He spent the majority of the season on the practice squad until being called up to the active roster in December.
- Appeared in 2 games
- 4 catches, 41 yards
Expectations going into the season: Low
Expectations were: Exceeded
Analysis: Clark defied the odds to make 53-man roster as rookie
It was anyone’s guess who was going to begin the regular season on the Packers’ roster at wide receiver. Sure, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Davante Adams were safe. Given how Green Bay adjusted its player acquisition strategy in the offseason to win-now, would the Packers keep a raw player like Michael Clark around?
They would. While Clark failed to make the initial 53-man roster out of training camp, he returned to the team on the practice squad the next day. The Packers chose to keep Clark over seventh-round pick Malachi Dupre.
Then came the hard work of studying the playbook and refining his fundamentals. There’s no question Clark had the least experience playing football on the team.
By season’s end, Clark started to get the hang of the offense.
“You get down in the red area and the way he can go up and high point the ball (is impressive),” head coach Mike McCarthy said before the season’s final game. “There probably hasn’t been a Thursday practice that he hasn’t made a catch that’s been impressive. He’s raw. He had some opportunities against Minnesota, and hopefully he can build off of that.”
Week 16 against Minnesota gave Clark his first taste of the regular season. The Packers put him on the field for 28 snaps, and he snagged two catches for 29 yards. In the season finale against the Lions, Clark seemed to take a step back. It’s to be expected for a player with as little experience as he has.
The 2018 offseason and training camp will decide his future. If he takes a step in learning the offense, develops more physically and masters the fundamentals, the Packers will have a new offensive weapon terrifying to opposing defenses.