Chargers Draft Analysis: OT Corey Clark

Jaime Cattano concludes her five-part series evaluating the Bolts draft selections with a closer look at OT Corey Clark. The Texas A&M product is equipped with great size, impressive technique and solid work ethic. The Bolts know that once Clark finds his aggressive tone on the field, he could push Jeromey Clary for playing time.

Who He Is

The Bolts tapped Corey Clark of Texas A&M in round seven. The 6'6", 315-pound offensive tackle was selected second team All-Big Twelve Conference his senior year. In 376 pass plays, he gave up a mere two sacks and registered 70 knockdowns, adding eight touchdown-resulting blocks. In Clark's career with the Aggies, he landed 176 knockdown blocks, 19 of which produced Aggies TDs.

What's To Like

Equipped with great height and large hands, Clark maintains solid field awareness and fights hard until the whistle. With his impressive burst of speed off of the snap, he has the strong intensity and first-rate field vision to pick up the blitz.

Clark uses smart body-positioning to wall off defenders and moves well when pulling and trapping. While he maintains good location between his man and the quarterback, he also takes smart angles to get at second-level defenders.

Clark blocks with good leverage and proves successful in sliding his feet to mirror his opponent in pass protection. While making necessary adjustments to inside pressure, Clark works well with his guards and tight ends in upholding and broadening the rush lane.

While he quickly gets his hands on defensive ends, Clark shows a good ability to extend his arms and push off defenders on run plays. He skates quickly to the outside to defuse edge rushers and slow down or cut off the opponents.

What's Not To Like

Although Clark will benefit from adding bulk to his frame, one of his biggest drawbacks is his lack of aggressive force on the field. He fails to spawn fiery force on contact and lacks explosive impact as a drive blocker. He needs the bursting vigor to knock defenders down.

Clark appears inconsistent coming out of his stance, proving a need to work on his basic techniques. While he appears more of a grabber and body leaner, Clark will benefit from learning to extend his arms, get good hand placement and sustain the opponent. Holding penalties will be his enemy if he continues to catch his opponents rather than punching.

Although he has adequate initial lateral movement, he is inconsistent in redirecting his body. He needs to produce better flexibility and avoid his constant waist-bending. With a tendency to play upright, Clark reaches and allows his man to get too close in pass protection.

Clark lacks awareness to defensive schemes and shows unreliable footwork in the open field. While he struggles to maintain a strong and impactful presence, Clark could mend many of his deficiencies if he played with pure reckless abandon.

Who The Bolts Passed Up

When the Bolts grabbed Clark, they passed up Kirk Barton of Ohio State, who was later picked by the Chicago Bears. It may have come as a surprise, being that the Bolts met with Barton at the Senior Bowl, the Combine and his Pro Day. With Barton's 6'5", 310-pound frame, he marks a slightly smaller build than Clark but, more importantly, he lacks overall athleticism.

Both Clark and Barton need to polish their techniques on the field but, unlike Clark, Barton has an inability to naturally grasp field instincts and awareness. Barton makes up for his lack of speed by reaching too much and stands up too quickly, looking stiff in pass-sets. Barton fails to find the second-level players and proves to be an inefficient open-field blocker.

Looking Forward

The Bolts have no doubts about Clark gaining the aggression and vigor he needs after spending a few practices with Kris Dielman and Nick Hardwick. With the release of Shane Olivea, Jeromey Clary is expected to hold the starting role at right tackle with the newly signed L.J. Shelton providing depth. Shelton inked a two-year deal, giving Clark time to work his way from the practice squad to the active roster in time to compete for a pivotal role in 2010.


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