DE Frank Clark – Everyone’s Favorite Steal


Ever since wowing scouts at the NFL combine, Frank Clark’s name has been popping up everywhere, and why shouldn’t it? The high risk/ high reward nature of Clark scream “value” and maybe even, “steal of the draft”.

Frank Clark has been a regular name on mock drafts just about everywhere. If your team is mocking, they’ve probably mocked Frank Clark in the mid-to-late rounds. Every fan is convinced their team is the one who’s going to cash on this high-value bargain. It isn’t a mystery to figure out why either. Frank Clark is a highly skilled player expected to slide in the upcoming draft.

Who doesn’t want “the steal of the draft”?

Whoever picks the former Michigan defensive end is certain to find extreme value given where he should be drafted based on talent, and where he likely will (much lower). His somewhat troubled history is what brings such value, drops his stock, and makes him so tantalizing to so many teams and their fans.

Frank Clark’s Trouble

Last season, Clark was dismissed from Michigan following a domestic violence charge. The charge wasn’t the first time Clark found trouble but it was certainly the most serious. The details of the incident weren’t pretty (they rarely are), but it wasn’t the magnitude of what allegedly happened in the Greg Hardy residence.

Two weeks ago Frank Clark took steps to increase his draft stock by accepting a plea bargain that dismissed his first degree charge for domestic violence and assault. His sentencing involves a fine but avoids jail time. Best of all, it puts the issue behind him (legally speaking).

It’s natural that the Dallas Cowboys are considered frontrunners to draft him. They already signed Greg Hardy, who is trying to bounce back from similar domestic violence issues, so the support structure and the willingness to accept risk (and bad PR) is there. They also made him one of their official visitors, making the interest and willingness – real.

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Frank Clark the Player

Frank Clark was clearly one of the top players on the Michigan defense last season, but his combine performance was truly eye-opening. The 6’3” 270lb DE turned in a 4.66 40 and a 1.58 10 yard split. Even compared to the smaller “quicker” pass-rushing OLBs, Clark performed quicker and more explosive in his split, as well as drills. had this to say about him:

"“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.”"

That’s not all had to say either. They report an NFC personnel executive had this to say about everyone’s favorite bargain:

"“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.”"

Considering this was said when his legal issues were still threatening jail time and a more serious conviction, and you can imagine his stock has received another big boost. How big? That’s tough to predict but some are saying Clark probably won’t make it out of the 3rd round.

Frank Clark may not be that 5th round steal everyone’s hoping he’ll be for their team, but he promises to be a steal for someone. Why not the Cowboys….

Just remember, his value very likely received a substantial boost with the resolution, so whoever drafts him will likely have to draft him sooner than once thought.

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