The Colts spent their third round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft on Texas Tech offensive tackle Le'Raven Clark, a pick considered to be good value for the team that late in the draft.
There has been a lot of talk about where Clark might fit in with the Colts, as he could be a nice developmental lineman who provides depth and competes for a starting spot, whether this year or in the future. In order to learn more about the Colts' new lineman, we reached out to Viva The Matador, SB Nation's site covering Texas Tech, and Hunter Cooke was kind enough to answer some questions. The questions are in bold and Hunter's answers follow.
1. How did Le'Raven Clark do on-the-field at Texas Tech during his tenure there?
On field, Clark was a complete success. He was a freshman All-American, and he was 1st team All-Big XII twice. He's never been the best run blocker, but you can google "Le'Raven Clark deceits Shawn Oakman" for an example of his power. That's a big dude with former NFL Draft aspirations that he plowed over.
I don't have the official statistics, because OL stats are hard to find, but I want to say that he gave up less than 6 sacks in a 4-year tenure. That's pretty dang good, especially when you pass as much as we do.
2. Are there any off-the-field concerns (that you know about) that fans should be aware of?
None at all. By all standards, Le'Raven is a stand up dude.
3. What are some of Clark's biggest strengths and weaknesses?
Obviously his biggest strength is pass blocking. He's a hard guy to get around with his frame, and his Mr. Fantastic level arms negate swim and rip techniques very well. I'd have to try hard to find anything wrong with his pass pro game.
Even though he's not the top run blocker in this class, he's still solid. He's a huge reason why DeAndre Washington rushed for 1,000 yards in back to back seasons in an Air Raid offense. I've written a little about our downfield blocking and how it affects our offense's explosion recently, and one of the things I found was that Clark was one of the guys always down the field looking for someone to block.
I understand the beef with coming from a 2-point stance, but if that's your biggest weakness, you're doing pretty good in my opinion. He'll have to learn a few things on the fly, but I think he can pick it up rather quickly.
4. How do you think he will do transitioning to the NFL level?
I'm not sure. Many scouts projected his ceiling at All-Pro and his basement as a serviceable backup. I think he starts eventually, and will have 4-5 good seasons in the NFL. I'm trying hard not to be a homer here, and that's a pretty reasonable prediction in my opinion.
5. Do you think this was a good pick by the Colts (in terms of player and draft position)?
It might end up being a steal. In the preseason some had him in the first round. Getting him in the third is a steal. I'm not sure of all the Draftology things that came into it, but y'all are getting a solid player who's been a stalwart figure on our OL for 4 years. I really like him in y'alls offense, last time I checked y'all throw it pretty often with Luck back at QB. Clark's big strength is pass protection, so I think he'll fit right in.
Thanks again to Hunter Cooke at Viva The Matadors for answering these questions!