Drafted: ROUND: 5 - Pick Number: 176 (DAL)
Draft Profile: BioDamone Clark was known as a hard-hitting linebacker who was part of two state title teams during his career. He was rated as a four-star prospect by 247Sports and Rivals and rated as the No. 7 player in the state of Louisiana and the No. 18 inside linebacker nationally by Rivals. Clark was offered a scholarship from LSU which was an easy option for him to accept as he's from Baton Rouge.
After playing little as a freshman in 2018 Clark saw action in all 15 games, starting three times, and was the full-time starter at outside linebacker in LSU’s base defensive package. He finished sixth on the team in tackles with 50 and added 4.0 tackles for loss with 3.5 sacks.
As a junior in 2020, he appeared in all 10 games, starting five times. Calrk tied for the team lead in tackles with 63 and added 4.0 tackles for 18 yards in losses along with a sack for a 10-yard loss.
Clark took a major step up in 2021 as a senior as he led the SEC and ranked No. 2 in the nation in both tackles (135) and tackles per game (11.2). He also added 6 sacks and 23 total QB pressures. He also vastly improved his coverage production - where on 48 targets only allowed a 75.4 QB rating when targeted. At season's end, he received a Second-team All-America spot from both Walter Camp and Sporting News and finished as a finalist for the Dick Butkus Award.
Scouting Report: Strengths
- Great athlete. Shows a natural feel for pass rushing. Very good lateral agility to shake pass blockers.
- Made Bruce Feldman's Freaks -- "clocked a 4.50 in the 40 and benched 405 pounds while weighing 245 pounds. He’s down to 241 but has added more than 20 pounds on his power clean to 374 and upped his squat to 605. His body fat is down to 10 percent.
- More than backed up prior athletic expectations with a major combine win. Ran a 4.57 40, had a 35.5 vertical and a 127 broad jump
- Flashes closing speed and agility to reach passers from the blind side or up the middle before they can escape.
- Good quickness to attack ballcarriers when playing near the line. Breaks down and wraps legs to make the stop.
- Looks the part with a strong, long frame with good arm length. Fluid and flexible athlete with agile footwork and explosive get-off quickness.
- Plays fast, flows with the action, showing smooth lateral agility and short-area burst. Has good instincts and awareness to quickly find the ball.
- Shows the closing burst and footwork to work well in tight areas.
- Very hard hitter and equally adept at tackling. Had a massive 46 total stops in 2021 where he was incredible while playing in the box
- Has improved significantly in 2021 - as a coverage backer. He now exhibits coverage skills akin to a safety after struggling early on in his career
- Shows toughness to get under the pads of tackles to bull them, club them upfield to get the inside lane, or fight through blocks for the secondary rush when the passer steps up.
- Ferocious against the run and very good in coverage - is extremely versatile
Scouting Report: Weaknesses
- His lateral agility and burst often put him in a position to make big plays, but he takes questionable routes to the ball and struggles to avoid blockers when in pursuit.
- Limited vision and is a little erratic - well have a great game followed by a very average one
- Not great at shedding blocks - can get bogged down in the action and vanish from the play
- Has consistently had problems dealing with misdirection and counters and bites too often
- Easily succumbs to play fakes and head fakes and doesn't have a natural instinct for all the nuances game
- Prior to 2021 was only average in coverage despite having impressive speed
Scouting Report: SummaryDamone Clark is a promising pro prospect, who has some immense upside. He's got the ideal size for a middle linebacker, is strong, has elite speed, and is an overall elite athletic talent who put up massive numbers in 2021 while playing against top-level opposition in the SEC. Our only major complaint about Clark is he isn't consistent, not only from game to game but season to season - and until 2021 he was an underwhelming player who underachieved given his outstanding athletic talent.
Despite only having just a single year of elite play (in 2021) we consider Clark to be a quality prospect who will likely become a pro starter early in his career and as a result, expect for him to hear his name called in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Damone Clark percentiles vs other Inside Linebacker's (NFL Combine historically - higher value represents better perfomance)
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