NY Jets rumors: Cameron Clark not seen as a 'legitimate starting option'

NY Jets, Cameron Clark
NY Jets, Cameron Clark / Billie Weiss/Getty Images

The NY Jets saw quite a few rookies step up and play prominent roles in 2020. But one player who failed to see the field at all in his rookie season was offensive lineman Cameron Clark.

While the likes of Mekhi Becton, Denzel Mims, and Bryce Hall — among others — received considerable playing time, Clark sat on the bench and failed to appear in a single game.

Despite this, hopes are high for the former Charlotte standout and some believe that he could develop into a starting-caliber player down the line. The key words there being "down the line."

Connor Hughes of The Athletic recently reported that the Jets don't consider Clark to be a "legitimate starting option." However, he did indicate that they "like his potential."

The NY Jets don't see Cameron Clark as a starting option yet

A fourth-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Clark was seen as a bit of a developmental project coming out of college after playing predominantly left tackle at Charlotte.

Not only was he having to adapt to a significant increase in level of competition coming from a small school, but he was being asked to play a new position as he shifted inside to guard.

To make matters worse, Clark missed most of training camp with a shoulder injury and, upon his return, would hurt his knee landing him on the injured reserve.

Clark was activated off the injured reserve in late October, but wouldn't appear in a single game, mostly serving as a healthy scratch on game days.

2020 was essentially a redshirt season for the promising young offensive lineman. And while the Jets plan to open training camp with an open battle for the right guard job, don't expect Clark to be given a chance to win it.

The Jets don't see Clark as a legitimate starting option yet, which makes sense given how much time he missed in his rookie campaign.

Clark was always a player who needed time to develop. And unfortunately, that developmental process was stunted due to injuries in his rookie campaign — not to mention an unorthodox offseason, to begin with.

Instead, the Jets will likely enter camp with a three-way battle between veterans Alex Lewis, Greg Van Roten, and Dan Feeney for the starting right guard job.

The best-case scenario for Clark would be to see him shine in training camp and take over the starting job before the end of the year. Although how likely that is remains to be seen.

This summer will be important for Cameron Clark as he looks to show the coaching staff that he could be a legitimate starting option.

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Because right now, the jury is still very much out on his future.