June 18, 2022
During the offseason, we'll be taking a close look at Philadelphia Eagles players of interest who are currently on the roster, but maybe we don't know a lot about them just yet. Today we'll look at offensive lineman Le'Raven Clark.
Previously published player reviews
Clark was a third-round pick of the Colts in the 2016 NFL Draft. He appeared in 47 games in Indy, starting 15. Clark has guard-tackle versatility, as he started games for the Colts at LT, RT, and RG. He has average athletic testing measurables, but excellent length, notably his 36-plus inch arms.
Clark tore his Achilles in early December 2020. He missed a chunk of 2021 training camp but was activated from the PUP list in mid-August. He was released at 53-man cutdowns, but signed back to the practice squad, where he remained for most of the season.
In December, the Eagles elevated Clark to the 53-man roster and signed him to a one-year contract extension. He started in the practice squad game against the Cowboys Week 18, and he filled in for an injured Lane Johnson — instead of Andre Dillard, interestingly — against the Bucs in garbage time in the playoffs.
Last Sunday, we took a look at Dillard's 2021 season. My perception was that Dillard played well whenever he filled in last season. However, after watching his body of work on the season, I determined that he did not play as well as I had perceived, a good Week 3 game against the Cowboys aside.
If the Eagles were to trade Dillard, do they have another backup tackle capable of filling in? I was curious to watch Clark's play to find out, and so, I cut up some video of his two games:
• Pass protection: Clark can anchor against power, however, he had major issues with speed rushers. If he has to play on the edge against a premium speed rusher, you have to give him help. You do not want him on an island against anyone with speed or quickness.
• Run blocking: Generally speaking, Clark is a good run blocker. He has some power to move opposing defenders against their will, and when he knows where he is going pre-snap, he exhibits a little explosiveness to beat defenders to a spot and then seal them off. It's when he has to be reactive to defenders — and this applies to pass protection as well — when he looks slow, oftentimes with clunky feet.
• Screen game: Clark won't remind anyone of Jason Peters in his prime running out in front of screens, but he is effective enough and seems willing to lay out defenders if given the opportunity.
Clark has some guard/tackle versatility, but I like him better as a guard, as I would not want him playing on the edge against anyone with speed. Given that major deficiency in his game, I would not feel comfortable trading Dillard at a discount on the premise that Clark can do just as good a job in a backup tackle role.
I do think he showed enough positives that he is likely to make the team out of training camp as a backup lineman.
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