NFL Hot Press: Some Teams Project Damone Clark to First Round of 2022 NFL Draft

Some Teams Project Damone Clark to First Round of 2022 NFL Draft

Updated Nov. 19, 2021
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

There has been a lot of talk in the media about the 2022 NFL Draft not being a good year for linebacker talent, and overall, that could be true. LSU, however, has produced a lot of good pro linebacker talent in recent years, and LSU senior Damone Clark could be the first linebacker selected in the 2022 NFL Draft. He is having a huge 2021 season and could follow in the recent Tigers tradition of first-round picks like Devin White and Patrick Queen. According to NFL sources, some teams are projecting Clark to be a first-round pick and think he could rise into being a high first-rounder during the leadup to the 2022 NFL Draft.

“He’s long, fast, athletic, and that doesn’t last long in the draft,” said an NFC director of player personnel. “He’s similar to Micah Parsons movement wise, but Parsons had a little more freakish juice and was more explosive, but not by a ton. Clark has better instincts than Parsons and the production reflects that. I think Clark will rise into a mid- to high first.”

Entering the final two weeks of the regular season, Clark is tied with Northwestern’s Chris Bergin for leading the nation in tackles with 118. Clark also has three sacks, one interception and two passes defended. The 6-foot-3, 245-pound Clark has excellent size to play inside or outside linebacker in the NFL.

“Clark is like a better version of Zach Cunningham, and considering Cunningham led the NFL in tackles, that is saying something,” said an AFC director of player personnel. “Clark is not a violent tackler, and I don’t like how he slides into tackles sometimes, that was similar to Cunningham at Vanderbilt. But Clark is more athletic and more physical than Zach.”

While the 2022 NFL Draft may not be a great year for linebacker talent, Clark is drawing some rave reviews. It looks like he could rise into being a mid- to high first-round pick next April in the 2022 NFL Draft.