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NFL Draft 2015 Results: Seahawks select Frank Clark, DE Michigan

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The Seahawks have selected defensive end Frank Clark, defensive end out of Michigan, with the 63rd overall pick of the Draft. Clark is known to be a highly talented pass rusher -- he had 13.5 tackles for a loss and 4.5 sacks in 2014 but was kicked off the Wolverines team in November because of an arrest on a domestic violence charge. Those charges were eventually dropped.

Nonetheless, the Seahawks have surely done their due diligence on the incident and apparently feel that his off-field issues are something they can live with. Clark is a top SPARQ athlete -- the 5th rated edge player among all draft eligible players in Zach Whitman's database, and registered a 4.64 forty, a 38.5" vert, a 4.05 short shuttle, a 7.08 3-cone, and 9.83' broad. All this at 6'3, 271 pounds with 34" arms and a 84" wingspan. Dude is a physical specimen, no doubt, and is only 21 years old. Obviously, the main concern is the off-field red flags, but he produced when on the field.

From Lance Zierlein at NFL.com:

STRENGTHS Downhill defensive end who can play on the other side of the line of scrimmage. Has the power to control the edge and is able to disengage and finish as a tackler. Fires out of stance with good burst upfield as pass rusher. Keeps pad level low and converts speed to power. Gets shoulders turned when he rounds corner as pass rusher, gaining leverage advantage.

WEAKNESSES Effort rusher who relies on motor and power over talent. Lacks fluidity and natural transition from move to move as pass rusher. Doesn't gain much ground with spin-move counter, often twisting in place. Lacks subtlety of movement or footwork necessary to execute consistent inside move at the next level. Marginal change-of-direction talent. Has had multiple off-field issues during his time at Michigan and was dismissed from Michigan in November after being arrested on domestic violence charges.

DRAFT PROJECTION Round 3 or 4

SOURCES TELL US "I don't think he gets past the 4th round at the latest. Our team felt like he gave honest answers regarding previous incidents and we came away feeling much better about him after speaking to him." - NFC Personnel Executive

NFL COMPARISON Scott Crichton

BOTTOM LINE Clark has some explosive qualities and power to his game, but the big question is going to be how badly his off-the-field indiscretions play with NFL teams. He's likely a strong-side 3-4 OLB, but has the ability to play end in a 4-3 as well. Some league insiders believe he could come off the board inside the top 100 picks.

Dane Brugler at CBSSports:

STRENGTHS: Powerful build with good body thickness - added 60+ pounds the last four seasons, working hard to develop his growth potential...quick first step upfield with sustained momentum to work off blocks and win the edge, taking sharp angles to the pocket...active, quick hands to work through blockers with excellent push-pull technique...sets up his moves and appears to have a rush strategy, making adjustments throughout the game.
Attacks the chest of blockers and drives them backwards, locking out with his long arms...closes fast and violent...hyper-active motor with top-shelf hustle to finish through the whistle...relentless in pursuit and closes with violence...improved backfield vision with the discipline and recognition to stay at home, trusting his eyes and holding the edge...has some experience dropping in space with fluid feet and the natural instincts...productive starter with 35.0 tackles for loss in 26 career starts...attended counseling since his dismissal from Michigan and has invested time and energy into reconciling the situation.

WEAKNESSES: Almost too muscle bound, restricting his movements at times...overaggressive and will over-run plays due to his high-effort style...inconsistent leverage off the edge and prefers to use his natural ability over fundamentals...needs to consistently load more ammo into his punch...suspect anticipation in space and can be late to react - late off the snap too often...needs to better break down on the move to control his momentum and finish.

Worrisome off-field red flags - dismissed from the program after a domestic violence arrest (Nov. 2014) for allegedly striking his girlfriend in a hotel room (case is still pending); arrested (June 2012) and convicted of second-degree felony home invasion after stealing a laptop from a dorm room; pulled over for driving on the wrong side of the center line (March 2014) without proof of insurance or proper plates and had a bench warrant issued after he missed his court date.

In Our View: Ted Ginn Sr.'s Glenville program in Cleveland has been a feeder school for Ohio State, but Clark was one of the few studs that the Buckeyes let get away and he ended up at that school up north. He left high school as a 210-pound linebacker and developed into a 270-pound bruiser off the edge, abusing blockers with quickness and power.

Clark takes pride in using his hands to work through blocks and he not only uses them, but understands how to use them, which is refreshing to see at the college level. His energetic and anxious style will cause him to play out of control at times, but he has the skill-set to start in the NFL as an edge rusher in a 4-3 or 3-4 defense. But Clark's history of immaturity and poor decision-making away from the game are strong concerns and will eliminate him from draft consideration for several teams - he checked into counseling since his dismissal from Michigan and has done enough damage control that he could hear his name called on day three of the draft.

From Tony Pauline at DraftInsider.com:

Bio: Full-time starter the past two years. Posted 42 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks in 10 games last season before being dismissed from the Michigan program. All-conference selection as a junior when he posted similar numbers. Arrested in mid-November and charged with assault and domestic violence after allegedly attacking his girlfriend in a hotel room, charges which were recently dropped.

Positive: Explosive one-gap defensive end who makes a lot of plays behind the line of scrimmage. Built low to the ground, plays with great leverage and easily bends off the edge. Uses both an arm over move as well as hand technique to protect himself. Fires off the snap, easily changes direction and shows speed in pursuit. Incredibly quick, wedges between blocks and fast both laterally and in a straight line. Strong for his size and sells out to make plays. Instinctive and effectively diagnoses the action.

Negative: Easily disrupted by the initial block or controlled by a single opponent. Average skill when asked to play in space. Domestic violence arrest is a major red flag.

Analysis: Prior to his arrest in November, Clark was a legitimate top-100 choice as a one-gap defensive end/designated pass rusher. However, his domestic violence arrest could take him off many draft boards altogether. Once on the field though Clark has the skills to produce at the next level.