Over the first three weeks of this season, Seattle Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark has shown what it means to be a leader on and off the field.
Frank Clark, a 2015 second-round pick by the Seattle Seahawks, has been a star in the making. Clark was tutored by two Seattle superstar defensive linemen, Michael Bennett, and Cliff Avril, to start his professional career. He paid his dues, learning and growing next to them. Sadly, Avril was out injured last season after suffering a bad neck stinger. After Avril went down Clark took over as Seattle’s starting defensive end, opposite Bennett.
He had three sacks and 15 tackles over 15 games in his rookie season. 2016 and 2017 were when Clark started to break out. With 10 sacks in 2016 and nine in 2017, the Michigan alum was on his way. Clark currently has three sacks in 2018 averaging one per game, if he continues at this pace he will have 16 on the season, only half a sack under team record holder Michael Sinclair.
Before the 2018 season started, due to Avril’s retirement and Bennett’s departure via free agency to the Philidelphia Eagles, people criticized the Seahawks defensive line. Through the first three weeks, despite a record of 1-2, the new line has recorded eight sacks. However there is a defensive weakness, the Seahawks have allowed roughly 132 rushing yards per game.
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Seattle’s defense went through an unloading of defensive leaders in the offseason through retirement and free agency. Gone are Avril (Retirement/Injury), Kam Chancellor (Retirement/ Injury), Bennett (Signed with Philidelphia), and Richard Sherman (Signed with San Fransisco). The defense is in desperate need of leaders on all levels of play.
The Seahawks have Bobby Wagner at Linebacker, Earl Thomas III in the secondary, but were looking for their leader in the trenches. With Frank Clark and Jarran Reed on the line, new leaders are emerging. Both Clark and Reed have been investing their time in the younger players and have both shown leadership on and off the field. If Clark proves this season he’s a top pass rusher, he is due for a big contract this offseason. Sources such as John Clayton are saying Clark will be worth one million dollars per sack he records.
Can he sustain this level of play? Probably not at a rate of a sack per game because of the caliber of teams the Hawks play this season. If he gets at least a sack every six quarters, Clark would still end the season with 11.5 sacks, which would be a career high and still worth a big payday.
Frank Clark is an absolute monster on the line. He isn’t afraid to play inside the trenches or rush the passer from outside. If Clark has a 10-15 sack season, he’ll get his payday. He has learned from the best and has now become one of the best on the team. Clark isn’t someone the Seattle Seahawks wants to lose.