NY Jets: Initial grade and analysis for the Cameron Clark NFL Draft pick

NY Jets (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The NY Jets closed out the fourth round with perhaps their best selection yet in the form of Charlotte offensive lineman Cameron Clark.

After a pair of somewhat underwhelming picks to start Round 4 of the 2020 NFL Draft, the NY Jets returned to the offensive line to select Charlotte offensive tackle Cameron Clark.

Clark was a three-year starter at Charlotte appearing in a program-record 49 games while starting 35 of them. He was named the team’s Offensive MVP in 2017, a team captain in 2018, and was a first-team All-C-USA selection in 2019.

The 22-year-old steadily raised his draft stock over the past few seasons to the point where he was considered a possible late-Day-2 pick this year. Ultimately, he fell to the Jets towards the end of the fourth round and it could prove to be quite the steal.

Clark is a mean, powerful road-grader who evidently doesn’t slack off in the weight room. A mauler in every sense of the word, Clark takes pride in finishing his blocks rarely letting the defender walk away before the whistle blows.

But aside from his raw power, Clark is a surprisingly agile blocker with quick feet when working into the second level. However, those quick feet don’t always translate into pass protection.

Clark managed while in college, but he will likely struggle against speed rushers at the NFL level. His footwork in pass protection needs a ton of work as does his overall hand placement.

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In many ways, he’s reminiscent of the Jets’ first-round pick, Mekhi Becton. Both are dominating maulers who have no trouble pushing opposing linemen 5-10 yards back. However, they both will need some time to polish their games.

Clark will likely have to move inside to guard in the pros as it’s unlikely he’ll ever be quick enough to function as a starting tackle in the NFL. But as a guard? He has the potential to be a starter as soon as next season.

With the likes of Alex Lewis, Greg Van Roten, and Brian Winters not around for the long haul, the Jets will be hoping that Clark could develop into a starting-caliber guard to take over for the future.

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At this spot in the draft, this is excellent value and perhaps their best pick of the entire draft so far.

Final Grade: A-