Drafted by Cowboys 5th Round - Pick 176 - LB Damone Clark (LSU)

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by xwalker, Apr 30, 2022.

  1. xwalker

    xwalker Well-Known Member

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    I would take a flyer on Clark.

    LSU linebackers coach Blake Baker, left, speaks with linebacker Damone Clark (18) during the second half of the Tigers' 27-14 win over the Warhawks, Saturday, November 20, 2021, at Tiger Stadium.

    The day Damone Clark underwent the surgery that lowered his draft stock, former LSU linebackers coach Blake Baker spoke to him over the phone. Clark still felt the waning effects of anesthesia and tried to brush off what he had gone through.

    “ ‘I'm not in any pain,’ ” Baker recalled Clark saying. “ ‘I'm going to be back soon.’ ”

    Clark and Baker talked again the next day, as they have multiple times a week ever since they became close during their only season together. By then, the medicine had worn off. Clark recognized what he faced again.

    “ ‘This is for real,’ ” Baker recalled Clark saying.

    Clark stayed as positive as he could over the next month, but it was sometimes hard not to think about how spinal fusion surgery for a herniated disk in late March affected his future.

    After struggling at times in his first year as a starter, Clark had turned himself into one of the top linebackers in college football last season. He led the Southeastern Conference with 137 tackles. Every evaluator Baker talked to thought Clark would be a top-40 pick in the NFL draft this weekend.

    Another LSU player selected as Tyrion Davis-Price goes No. 93 overall in NFL draft

    Instead, Clark was still available Friday night after the end of the third round. Listed at 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds, he was considered a second-day pick before an MRI at the NFL scouting combine.

    “He's been positive,” Baker said, “but I do think the realization of everything this weekend will probably hit him a little bit differently.”

    The test results shocked Clark and his family. He never had an injury issue at LSU, never complained to his parents about something like that. He started every regular-season game last season before opting out of the Texas Bowl to train for the draft in California.

    Once a second opinion recommended surgery, Clark decided to have the operation. His parents, Damon and Katice, flew to California. During one conversation before the procedure, Clark’s father remembered the surgeon saying, “He'll be playing ball at the end of this year, promise you.”

    They high-fived.

    “It wasn't as bad as we thought,” said Clark’s father, Damon.

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    As Clark recovered from what his father called a “successful” surgery, he returned to Louisiana with his parents. He wore a protective brace around his neck for a few weeks, a precautionary measure to make sure no one slapped him too hard on the back in public.

    Clark has since started physical therapy. He works out at LSU. He can drive and pick up his daughter, Dakotah, again. Full recovery will take time — he may miss his rookie year — but he expects to play football.

    “He's determined to prove himself,” Clark’s father said. “He wants to practice. He wants to pick weights up.”

    The hardest part has been realizing he wouldn’t go in the first or second round after working as hard as he did over the last year. Clark says all the right things. He doesn’t get too down. But he knows he has enough talent and made enough tackles to go early in the draft.

    The surgery pushed him back into uncertainty. He didn’t want to watch the first round Thursday night.

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    “It took a lot of momentum from him,” Clark’s father said.

    Someone is still bound to take a chance on Clark. The emotional leader of LSU’s team and a recipient of No. 18 last season, he made open-field tackles, pressured quarterbacks on blitzes, shed blockers and improved as a pass defender. His father said Clark spoke with at least 11 teams.

    “Everything clicked with him,” draft analyst and WWL-AM host Mike Detillier said. “You saw his physicality, his speed, his athleticism. Everything worked.”

    Anticipating something, Clark’s family and friends gathered to watch the second and third days of the draft together. He franticly called his mom this week asking what he should wear. She told him to relax, but he just wants to know where he’ll end up.

    Clark had to wait longer than he anticipated a few months ago. But he believes he will hear his name.

    "He'll be the steal of the draft," Baker said. "I really believe that."
  2. Fla Cowpoke

    Fla Cowpoke Well-Known Member

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    I had mentioned him as a guy to pick and stash for a year. Would be the perfect time to do it right now.

    BTW, it was the Cowboys Dr that found the neck issue.
  3. beware_d-ware

    beware_d-ware Well-Known Member

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    He's had a super scary injury, but just on tape, I thought he was better than LB1 Quay Walker.

    Most of these guys won't even be on the roster in 2 years anyway. If there's a 90% chance that Clark's off the roster in 2 years, and a 10% chance he hits and reaches his potential, the expected value is still way higher than your average 5th round comp pick.
  4. Awakened

    Awakened the Dude abides

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    Okay, that's creepy.
    duro420 likes this.
  5. Silverstar

    Silverstar Well-Known Member

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  6. TheMarathonContinues

    TheMarathonContinues Well-Known Member

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    Its much easier to swallow this pick now then in the 2nd round......
    Hadenough, cowboyz, Proximo and 19 others like this.
  7. Fla Cowpoke

    Fla Cowpoke Well-Known Member

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    And they did it. Nice! I really like this move.
    WTtoolman, SlammedZero, CWR and 4 others like this.
  8. Loso86

    Loso86 Well-Known Member

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    Very good player it's nothing like the jaylon Smith thing, this guy when he heals will be a very nice player for us
  9. Captain-Crash

    Captain-Crash Well-Known Member

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    heck yeah, he's only kind of hurt that's the way we like em
    Hadenough, jnday, Runwildboys and 5 others like this.
  10. marchetta

    marchetta Well-Known Member

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    Damone Clark LB LSU

    by Drew Boylhart • March 1, 2022

    Damone is a long-armed, long-legged linebacker with the size and athletic talent teams are looking for in this modern NFL. He shows good speed to run players down and the ability to be used to attack the line of scrimmage in schemes that allow him to make plays and tackles behind the line of scrimmage. He is a sure tackler in open space. Damone shows some leadership skills and might have the ability in the future to become a coach on the field for the team that elects him.

    There is not much on film, of Damone being used in single coverage but his body type sends the signal that he could be. At the senior bowl, he did show athletic talent but he still will need time to develop those skills. He does struggle to process if there is too much happening in front of him and that makes him hesitate and take wrong angles to the play. At the college level, his athletic talent made it easy for him to recover but at the next level, unless he can process and find the ball quicker, he will struggle to be consistent. Damone also struggles to get off blocks and make the tackle. Damone doesn’t make plays, plays are manufactured for him to make. There’s a big difference.

    BOTTOM LINE: 3.44
    My guess is if he is an OLB in a 4/3 defense that he should be pretty good but use him in the middle or in a 4-2-5 defensive system and he will struggle. Do not mistake thinking the word “process” means that Damone is not smart. There is nothing wrong with his intelligence. It just means if he sees too much in front of him he will struggle to analyze it and think quick enough to react. That’s why I’m suggesting that if he plays on the outside he will see less and have less to process. This will allow for his athleticism to work for him better. Put him on the whiteboard and there is no problem, so intelligence has nothing to do with how quickly a person can process. For the purposes of this draft, I think Damone will be a good player for the team that selects him but he is limited to a certain position in a certain style of defense and for me, that affects his draft status and talent level.
  11. DallasEast

    DallasEast Cowboys 24/7/365 Moderator

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    Long, well-built inside linebacker packed into an athletic frame. Athleticism, toughness and tackling talent helped Clark piled up production in 2021 despite a lack of game-to-game consistency. Play recognition and instincts are erratic and could continue to be, but his game against Alabama should be weighed more heavily in his favor, as it shows what he's capable of against bigger, better opponents. Clark profiles as an early backup and special teams performer with projectable upside in the middle. However, the spinal fusion surgery he underwent in March is likely to sideline him for the 2022 season and could cause him to drop lower than his tools warrant on draft day.
    • Exceptional football character.
    • Benefitted from playing alongside Devin White and Patrick Queen.
    • Brings a consistent physicality to the field.
    • Maintains separation from blockers.
    • Able to fit in firmly and stop short-yardage carries.
    • Instincts and recognition showed in-season development.
    • Played exceptional football in loss to Alabama.
    • Crashes down like a wave on ball-carriers.
    • Plays with reactive agility to shine as open-field tackler.
    • Has issues reading play-fakes and mesh-point action.
    • Misdirected by false keys.
    • Pursuit speed is more build-up than burst-based.
    • Needs to challenge and stack blocks to squeeze the gap.
    • Route recognition and challenge from zone is average.
    • Likely to miss 2022 season after undergoing spinal fusion surgery to repair a herniated disk in March.
    CWR and Duane like this.
  12. freemanjc19

    freemanjc19 Well-Known Member

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    The Good News is he is expected to make a full recovery! Probably won't see him until next year!
    CWR likes this.
  13. RS12

    RS12 Well-Known Member

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    Could end being their best pick. My favorite so far. We ll see.
  14. Scotman

    Scotman Well-Known Member

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    You have four 5th round picks and want to spend one on this guy? I'm all for that. WAY better than spending a premium pick on guys that have the same kind of red flags.
  15. Whyjerry

    Whyjerry Well-Known Member

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    Best pick in the draft.
  16. baltcowboy

    baltcowboy Well-Known Member

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    Might be the best Cowboys pick of the draft. Not just because he is a good linebacker but because in a year Micah might become a full time pass rusher.
    NotForLong likes this.
  17. Captain-Crash

    Captain-Crash Well-Known Member

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    Likely to miss the 2022 season after undergoing spinal fusion surgery to repair a herniated disk in March.
    crap who needs a spine. we got an lb without a neck. sheesh fickled gloom and doom fans.
  18. Aven8

    Aven8 Well-Known Member

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    Stash him on the Pup and let him bulk up baby
  19. ShortRound

    ShortRound Well-Known Member

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  20. Creeper

    Creeper Well-Known Member

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    So he sits out 2022, LVE is on a 1 year deal. He will be ready to play just in time for Dallas to let LVE go via free agency. Even if LVE has a great year, then he becomes to expensive to keep. I am fine with this pick, 1 of 4 in the 5th round.

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