By Zach Kruse
It didn’t take long for Green Bay Packers defensive lineman Kenny Clark to establish himself as one of the best players in the NFL.
The Packers’ second-year star came in at No. 69 overall on Pro Football Focus’ Top 101 players list for the 2017 season.
“In Year 2, he really broke out, playing significantly more snaps and earning strong grades as both a run-defender and pass-rusher,” PFF’s Sam Monson wrote.
A first-round pick in 2016, Clark finished with career highs in snaps (684), tackles (55), sacks (4.5), tackles for losses (3) and forced fumbles (2). All 4.5 of his sacks came over the final five weeks of the season, but Clark found ways to get into the backfield all year long.
He also blocked an extra point against the New Orleans Saints.
Only 13 interior defensive linemen finished with a higher PFF grade than Clark in 2017.
An ascending young player who only just turned 22 years old last October, Clark now looks like a cornerstone of the Packers’ defensive rebuild under new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.
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