Kenneth Arthur and John Fraley are the G-Moneyball and Spectator of local football. Arthur says,
[Fellow writer 'Rob'] compared Clark to Jadeveon Clowney, saying that the only real differences were his troubles with the law, and the fact that Clowney was the number one recruit in the nation coming out of high school. It’s not just pre-draft buzz that carries an athlete’s hype train, it’s pre-COLLEGE buzz. Clowney was a top recruit and then in his first two seasons, lived up to the hype. Clark had many of the same physical gifts and also performed in college, but if you didn’t closely follow it, it’s not as though any Seahawks fans were like "we just need to make sure we can still get Frank Clark in the draft" last season.
Now perhaps the only difference between Clowney and Clark is that they could be very similar players with very similar gifts but one of them has a really, really bad knee. And it ain’t Clark.
For the (very) casual football fan, Clowney was a #1 overall pick who was considered a generational talent, perhaps the 21st-century Mean Joe Greene. He got a knee last year and the jury's out. ... point is, there's a fun set of .gifs at this Field Gulls address. What are you guys, dedicated or something?
FIRST .gif: Beating the guard was great, but the money shot was his burst in pulling down the ballcarrier. Real football, in the trenches, happens blurry-fast. Frank Clark has the 20-yard cone and dash times, and the 38-inch vertical, to prove he's got an extra step in this situation.
Willie McGinest once said, the NFL fan does not understand that the difference between him and an Adrian Peterson, scrambling to get around the edge, "was this much" (holding his hands two feet apart). As soon as a running back loses that "extra blurry-fast" in the NFL, he's done. As Frank Gore is now done.
Frank Clark, in fact, HAS that Seahawky closing burst. That's not the question. The question is whether, position-adjusted, he has the BEST closing burst on the Seahawk roster. You can talk technique all you want, but after the first 2.0 seconds of a play it's about out-bursting your matchup.
See also the 2nd .gif of the 4th quarter. And thanks, Field Gulls, for all the .gifs. A real pleasure.
SECOND .gif OF THIRD QUARTER: the bull rush. Slap me silly.
Ben Garland was a backup for the Broncos last year, getting into 8 games, supposedly competing for a starting job this year. He's 6'5", 308 lbs. and this is just a power-blocking drill.
FIRST and LAST .gifs of the FOURTH QUARTER: Here's what has them all talking Michael Bennett. Dr. D is particularly taken with the very last .gif, in which Clark gets caught up in 9,000 kinds of laundry wash but still knifes through it like a katana blade.
Nobody is accusing Clark of being headed toward 10 sacks as a rookie, but if Houston got this kind of look from Jadeveon Clowney early on in 2015, you think they'd take it?
Anyway: to last year's defensive line you add (1) Brandon Mebane, the "MVP" of the system per Michael Bennett. (2) Frank Clark. (3) Jordan Hill, as y'know, threatened to become an interior sack machine late last year. (4) Cassius Marsh is intriguing as an undersized speed weapon when playing 10-20 snaps a game. (5) Bruce Irvin, adding the weight and power, is playing for his contract.
On paper, it's pretty interesting, isn't it?
We're just piling on here, since everybody loves Lockett. But tell you the one move he makes that sends Dr. D into mindless ecstasy. It's this stutter-step right here, first .gif in the article. The Seahawks' site also showed Lockett deploying this move to torch 'Hawk defenders, though I can't find them at the moment.
Against a quick, aggressive defender this move is the Colt .45 revolver of football ... you know, "The Creator made man but Samuel Colt made them equal." Dr. D, himself not quick or fast, used this move in flag football to put even cat-quick defenders on the back foot. That's at park-and-rec level, but Tyler Lockett is the best he's ever seen with the move.
Why not us,