What does Cameron Clark bring to the New York Jets offense?
The New York Jets signed the third of their nine 2020 NFL Draft picks, inking offensive lineman Cameron Clark to a rookie contract. While the headlines around the draft surrounded top pick, Mekhi Becton, Clark could emerge as either a guard or a tackle once training camp commences.
A unit that not only lacked talent last but also depth is now significantly upgraded on both fronts.
Clark has been both a guard and a tackle during his college career. His last 25 games in college were at left tackle where he made the Conference-USA first-team. With his size, he can adapt to either position and that can help depending on where offensive line coach Frank Pollack projects him in terms of position.
Free-agent signing George Fant and the top pick Becton will anchor either tackle position. Once the Jets are able to work as a unit, Clark could emerge at guard. The Jets re-signed Alex Lewis this off-season and he and Brian Winters could benefit from the competition that the 6-foot-3, 316-pound Clark can bring.
The idea is that Clark brings good size and athleticism as a guard. He has solid footwork and while he played at tackle in college he likely has the skillset to be a starting guard given his ability to pull.
"I just want to come in and attack what Coach Pollack wants me to improve on," Clark told Jets reporters shortly after the draft. "Whatever he wants me to work on, that's what I'll be attacking full force. The main thing, I would say, is just my change of direction, staying low, things like that. Those are things that I've been working on since the Combine."
Clark holds Charlotte’s program record for career games played (49) and was part of an offensive line that helped produce Conference USA’s top-ranked rushing offense (195.5 yards per game) last season.
“I just feel very fortunate. I feel really blessed,” Clark said before the draft. “Growing up I never thought this would happen. Even at Charlotte, I just wanted to be the best I could be.”
At Charlotte, he was named offensive MVP by his 49ers’ teammates in 2017. It is a rare honor for an offensive lineman and not a skill-position player to receive such a distinction, underscoring how Clark was a really big fish in a little sea.
The Jets are hoping that this fish can emerge in their giant ocean.