Let’s be honest, the biggest reason the Seahawks are now what they are and the first thing that people think of about the Seahawks is their defense. Over the past 4 years their defense has been the best or one of the best defenses in the NFL. Last year, a slow start to the year damaged that reputation but they finished as well as ever. However, they have lost a few defensive pieces now, so they’ll be looking for players to step up and take over a new role, and Frank Clark should do exactly that.
Last year’s second round pick made a decent impact in his rookie season. He may have only had 3 sacks, but he didn’t get much playing time and he wasn’t used as one of the Seahawks primary pass rushers. That job fell to Brice Irvin, Chris Clemons and Cliff Avril. Now though, Irvin has gone to Oakland, Clemons has retired and Avril isn’t getting any younger. That gives Clark an excellent opportunity to fulfil the Seahawks expectations for him; to become a premier pass rusher.
The Seahawks have those expectations, and Clark is capable of fulfilling them, thanks to a number of traits. He has a quick first step and he can get on top of a lineman pretty quickly. However, he isn’t a speed rusher, as such. His 6’3”, 272lbs frame makes him a load to stop for lineman and his heavy hands give him an excellent punch. He can win with power or with a speed move and is more than capable of standing up against the run. What’s more, he showed that he can be used as an inside-outside pass rusher, meaning he can line up against guards and centers or tackles and still be an effective pass rusher.
With Bennett offering that skillset, newly drafted Jarran Reed in the middle of the d-line and Cliff Avril still coming off on edge, Clark slots in nicely as a movable piece on their hybrid defense front, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see his sack total improve dramatically.