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NFL Draft 2015 SPARQ analysis, Seahawks day two picks: Frank Clark and Tyler Lockett

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A quick breakdown of the analytics behind Seattle's pair of Friday selections.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Frank Clark, DE, Michigan, Pick #63

From an analytics perspective, Clark ticks every possible box. He ranks fifth in the 2015 EDGE class in SPARQ, and 3rd among 4-3 end types. Clark combines 4.64 speed with an outrageous 4.05 short shuttle and 38.5" vertical. He's also not yet 22 years old.

It's not just the athleticism, either. The 83-7/8" wingspan and 34-3/8" arm length both ranked 3rd among all Edge players invited to the 2015 NFL Combine. It's a combination of length and athleticism that's incredibly rare; dating back to 1999, the only edge players with greater length and the athleticism of Clark are Manny Lawson, Justin Houston, and Michael Johnson... and DeMarcus Ware and Mario Williams only miss the cut into that club by a few ticks of arm length.

Clark's player comparisons are, frankly, ridiculous.

I don't typically post comps below 80, but the idea is to show just how rare and successful this kind of player is. In the interest of disclosure, I did limit this to Day 1 and 2 picks, weeding out 5th- and 7th-round picks. Players with this length and athleticism are stars.

I'd like to note that I am not personally in favor of the decision to draft Clark. I will say that if Frank Clark had conducted himself off the field at Michigan like Hau'oli Kikaha did at UW, I'd recommend taking him in the top ten of the draft.

Tyler Lockett, WR, Kansas State, Pick #69

Tyler Lockett is the opposite of Frank Clark. He's a great leader with phenomenal college production and the shortest arms and hands known to man we've seen in a while. His wingspan of 70-3/4" ranks third to the bottom among all players in my database, with the caveat that wingspan data is limited to 2012-2015. He joins Ace Sanders, Michael Campanaro, and Tavon Austin in that club. With 8-3/8" hands, he falls into the bottom 20 of all drafted receivers dating back to 1999. This comes a year after the Seahawks drafted Paul Richardson and his 8-7/8" hands. I view this as a pretty clear indication that the Seahawks do not value hand size in receivers.

My favorite production metric for wide receivers is Jon Moore's Phenom Index at Rotoviz. He likes Tyler Lockett, and he's really good at evaluating wide receivers. When Jon likes the pick, I take notice, and he thinks Lockett is the rare small WR that could be T.Y. Hilton or Antonio Brown. Go read it. (You should get one free read at Rotoviz, which is an excellent subscription-based website).

Lockett is only 182 lbs but comes in at just below the NFL WR SPARQ average, ranking in the 46th percentile. The Seahawks value speed over explosion at receiver, and this pick is athletically in the same range as Paul Richardson. Lockett ran a 4.4 flat with a 4.07 short shuttle, both among the better numbers at the combine. The 35.5" and 10'1" broad jump are OK results, but his SPARQ just isn't going to pop with them weighing 182.

There's nothing wrong with a league-average athlete. Here's the list of Day 1 and 2 player comps for Lockett.


Though this list was met with derision on Twitter earlier, it's actually a list of pretty good players that would be worthy of the 69th pick. Mitchell, Jackson, Brown, Curtis, Northcutt, and Clayton are/were all solid NFL players.

Lockett is a dynamic returner, and it's there that he may make the biggest mark as a rookie. After the Bryan Walter Fair Catch Parade of 2014, I look forward to Lockett's star ability on both kick and punt returns. Seattle will be going from a replacement-level returner to one of the best in the NCAA last season.

My hesitation with the Lockett pick is that the Seahawks have a WR group of three very slight receivers under contract heading into 2016. Paul RIchardson, Doug Baldwin, and Lockett are a diminutive group, and the lack of diversity is somewhat concerning. Russell Wilson is also likely best at attacking the sideline, and Jaelen Strong (who went a pick after Lockett) would've been nice in that role.

Still, there's time to address that in the future. I have confidence that Lockett is probably a very good player, and good players are an excellent return in the 3rd round.


You can also find me on twitter at @zjwhitman and