Clarke Goes No. 88 to Bengals

Just 19 picks after his teammate, Charles Sims, was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, West Virginia defensive end Will Clarke heard his name called.

The Pittsburgh, Pa., native was selected with the No. 88 overall pick by the Cincinnati Bengals Friday night.

Clarke becomes the seventh Mountaineer to be drafted by the Bengals, and the first since former WVU safety Robert Sands was a fifth-round selection in 2011. Other former Mountaineers to be drafted by the Bengals include Chris Henry (2005), Charles Fisher (1999), Canute Curtis (1997), Craig Taylor (1989), David Grant (1988) and John Holifield (1987).

Clarke began rising up draft boards over the course of the last few weeks and impressed a lot of scouts with an impressive showing during the Senior Bowl at the end of his senior season. Some have compared him to New England defensive end Chandler Jones. His combination of length, speed and size makes Clarke an intriguing prospect for the Bengals.

Playing time could be tough to find early on for Clarke, as the Bengals still have Robert Geathers, Carlos Dunlap, Margus Hunt and Wallace Gilberry all on the roster. But the 6-foot-6, 271-pound Clarke could find time as a rotational player.

With time, Clarke could grow into a productive pro in Cincinnati.


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