NY Jets Optimistic Roster Breakdown: OL Cameron Clark

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

The NY Jets will hope to see Cameron Clark make some important strides in his rookie season.

The NY Jets addressed their offensive line in a huge way this offseason with a number of additions made in both free agency and the 2020 NFL Draft. However, one player who’s definitely been overshadowed has been Cameron Clark.

A fourth-round pick in this year’s draft, Clark certainly doesn’t come to New York with the same amount of hype or expectations as the likes of Mekhi Becton and Connor McGovern.

But make no mistake about it, the Jets view Clark as a possible long-term starter and his development over the next couple of seasons will be something to watch.

Clark played in a program-record 49 games while at Charlotte making 35 starts — all of which came at left tackle. But while he protected the blind side in college, it’s likely he has more of a future in the NFL as an offensive guard.

Perhaps that’s where Clark’s future with the Jets lies too.

While he may be at least a year or two from assuming a starting role, Clark will need to show the Jets that he’s progressing nicely this season.

With that, let’s take a look at how Clark can ensure that 2020 is a success for him.

How Cameron Clark can find success with the NY Jets in 2020

Clark isn’t going to begin the 2020 season as a starter — and he was never expected to. Instead, the Jets hope that they could develop Clark into a future starter along the offensive line in due time.

And that development begins in his rookie season.

In an ideal world, both the left and right tackle positions will have already been secured with the presence of both Mekhi Becton and Chuma Edoga. Of course, neither are sure things — especially the latter.

But it’s likely the Jets see Clark as a future starter at offensive guard instead of at tackle.

Many of Clark’s weaknesses — his slow foot speed and lack of length — can be masked if he shifts inside and that’s probably where his NFL future lies. And in 2020, Clark must show the Jets that he has a future at the position.

After playing four years almost exclusively at left tackle, Clark must prove that he can shift inside and learn the intricacies of the position. General manager Joe Douglas loves his versatility and Clark could show that by displaying competency at both offensive tackle and guard.

In fact, if Clark could show enough promise in training camp and the preseason, then there’s an outside chance he could earn a starting job by the end of the season.

Of course, that will likely be coupled with either injuries or poor play from the starters. But it is a possibility and something that Clark could strive for.

Technically, Clark must become more refined with his hand placement and overall sloppiness in his reach timing. Much like Becton, Clark tends to be a little eager when engaging with blockers and as a result, could get caught flat-footed.

Being moved inside could help as he won’t be alone on an island, but it’s still something he needs to clean up.

Ultimately, Clark’s 2020 season will be successful if he continues to develop his game and prove to the Jets that he can hold a future starting role.

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If that starting role comes as soon as this season, then that’s even better