From now until the 2023 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to scout and create profiles for as many prospects as possible, examining their strengths, weaknesses, and what they can bring to an NFL franchise. These players could be potential top 10 picks, all the way down to Day 3 selections and priority undrafted free agents. Today, I will be profiling Coastal Carolina defensive lineman Jerrod Clark.
#15 Jerrod Clark, DT, Coastal Carolina (rSR) — 6034, 343 lbs.
Senior Bowl/Combine/Pro Day
|Player||Ht/Wt||Hand Size||Arm Length||Wingspan|
|40-Yard Dash||10-Yard Dash||Short Shuttle||3-Cone|
|Broad Jump||Vertical||Bench Press|
— Very good size and length
— Good snap quickness and pad level
— Play strength to drive offensive linemen into the backfield
— Solid bull rush when hand placement is good
— Good one-gap penetrator
— Show tools to stack and shed, split double team blocks
— Solid tackler within his gaps
— Projects to be a penetrator on pass rush stunts
— Hand placement is inconsistent vs pass and run; leads with shoulder
— Feet stall in pass rush
— Doesn’t counter in his pass rush when first move doesn’t work
— Limited pass rush plan
— Marginal change of direction and lateral agility
— Inconsistent technique taking on blocks
— Dips head at contact losing sight of the ball
— Marginal balance leading to stumbles/too much time on the ground
— 2022 – 41 tackles, 11 solo, 10 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 1 blocked kick
— Career – 105 tackles, 32 solo, 18 TFL, 7.5 sacks, 3 pass breakups, 1 blocked kick
— 38 games, 35 starts
— Senior Bowl invitee, East West Shrine Invitee
— Team Captain
— Named to Dean’s List multiple times
— Recruited as a 230-pound tight end; caught 26 touchdowns, 31 sacks in high school
The Steelers’ defensive line could have several holes to fill. They will be looking at the defensive tackles and defensive ends in this year’s draft. Jerrod Clark is three year starter who participated in the Senior Bowl. In the games watched he lined up primarily at the 0/1 technique or nose tackle with some snaps as the 3 technique defensive tackle as well.
Against the pass, he shows good quickness out of his snap firing out his first couple of steps with good pad level. He has good play strength with the power to push offensive linemen into the pocket. A bull rush is his main pass rush but he will try a club and also a rip when crossing the face of the offensive lineman. While they didn’t use him in stunts a lot he has the capability to be a penetrator on stunts.
A couple of solid pass rushes from Clark (15). First he bulls his way right through the center for the sack. The second he’ll cross the face of the right guard and rip into the backfield.
Vs Troy, he starts shaded against the center but will cross the face of the left guard with blitz inside. He uses a chop/rip to get to the quarterback quickly.
Against the run, he has the size and strength to be a 2 gap nose guard. However, at this point, he is better as a penetrator using his quickness and strength to get into gaps and disrupt running plays. Again, he has the play strength to press the lineman back to get into the backfield. He did show the ability to stack and shed blocks and split double-team blocks though not consistently. He has a solid motor and will pursue the ball outside. Overall he is a solid tackler within his gaps.
Penetrating and getting in the backfield is something he showed in each game. The combination of quickness and strength can overwhelm offensive linemen.
At Georgia State, this was a good rep against a double-team block. Lined up over the center he will split the blockers and get in on the tackle. He didn’t do this often but it shows he can do it.
Areas to improve include his hand placement when rushing the passer. He will lead with his shoulder and then bring his hands up slowing his chance to use his power. His feet stall in his pass rush after a few steps. He has a limited pass-rush plan. He’ll try one move and if that doesn’t work, that’s it. Countermoves need to be added to his game. He came out on obvious passing downs for most of the season.
Vs Troy, a couple of pass rushes. The first play he is shaded against the center and his power rush stalls with no counter attempt. The second is against the right guard where he tries again to power his way through but ends up on the ground.
I’ve read he is trying to drop some weight to get in the 325 range. Adding core strength would be wise as well. He has adequate balance causing him to stumble or end up on the ground too much. He dips his head into contact and will lose sight of the ball or chase the fake. His change of direction and lateral agility are marginal. He won’t make a ton of plays outside his gaps. His technique versus double teams needs to improve to stay square and hold his ground.
Vs Troy, he gets turned sideways versus the double-team block and gets driven back five yards.
Vs East Carolina, he has good hand placement vs the center but can’t stay square and work laterally to his left allowing the blocker to reach him and keep him from the runner.
Overall, Clark has the size, length, and power teams want to play inside. While he is a better penetrator right now as a 1 gap player he could project to a 2 gap with improvement. He has good snap quickness, pad level, and play strength to push defenders into the backfield. As a pass rusher, he can shorten the pocket and should be a viable option as a penetrator on stunts.
There are a lot of areas to work on including trimming down, adding core strength, improving his hand placement in all areas, developing a pass rush plan and working on his balance.
Right now he’s a two-down player who would likely come off the field on most passing downs. I think his best fit is in a 1 gap scheme right now but with technique, improvement could fit in a 2 gap as well. A couple of recent draftees that would be comparable include Naquan Jones and Quinton Bohanna. Both are of similar size and had some work to do coming in but have earned roles as rotational players.
Projection: Mid-Day Three
Depot Draft Grade: 6.7 Backup/Special Teamer
Games Watched: 2022 – Vs Buffalo, At Georgia State, Vs Appalachian State, At Troy, Vs East Carolina