2023 Stock Watch – T Le’Raven Clark – Purchased

Now that the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2022 season is over, the team finishing above .500 but failing to make the postseason, we turn our attention to the offseason and everything that means. One thing that it means is that some stock evaluations are going to start taking on broader contexts, reflecting on a player’s development, either positively or negatively, over the course of the season. Other evaluations will reflect only one immediate event or trend. The nature of the evaluation, whether short-term or long-term, will be noted in the reasoning section below.

Player: T Le’Raven Clark

Stock Value: Purchased

Reasoning: A day after losing their swing tackle from last season, Trent Scott, to the Washington Commanders, the Steelers went out and replaced him, agreeing to terms on a one-year contract with veteran Le’Raven Clark, whom the team will hopefully pit against a high-pedigreed rookie at the position.

Prior to yesterday, the only true tackles the Steelers had signed to their 90-man roster were their starters, left tackle Dan Moore Jr. and right tackle Chukwuma Okorafor. Their third tackle from last season, Trent Scott, was an unrestricted free agent, and earlier this week he signed with the Washington Commanders.

To replace him, the team quickly turned around and signed veteran Le’Raven Clark to a one-year contract, a rare Steelers deal that was reported and announced officially all in one business day. He provides some security of depth at the position, for now.

A 2016 third-round draft pick of the Indianapolis Colts, Clark has made 18 starts over the course of his career across 64 games played. He played for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2021, where he had connections with Andy and Casey Weidl, now in the Steelers’ front office, and Isaac Seumalo and Nate Herbig, offensive linemen now also employed in Pittsburgh.

He spent the 2022 season with the Tennnessee Titans, logging two starts in 13 games played, amassing 114 offensive snaps. He has played 1224 offensive snaps since he was drafted, seeing the most action in his second and third seasons with a combined nine starts.

Though it hasn’t been announced yet, Clark’s contract is likely for the veteran minimum. That’s the type of deal he has signed in each of the past two offseasons, and he hasn’t unusually distinguished himself since then, so there is no reason to think the circumstances of his salary demands will have changed.

And his coming in will most certainly not affect the Steelers’ draft plans. His ceiling is as an average swing tackle. Using their first-round pick on a tackle is still very much in the cards, assuming that the draft board breaks in such a way as to favor it over other desired positions such as cornerback.

Ideally, Clark will not be the only veteran support they enlist. It would be useful to have more than three experienced tackles on the roster to go through the offseason process—teams tend of have at least six tackles in total on their 90-man roster, and most will carry four into the regular season.

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