If you attended the training camp of the Green Bay Packers this summer, you saw that one player certainly made a name for himself. I’m talking about undrafted wide receiver Michael Clark, who played his college football at Marshall.
Clark had a number of plays in camp that reminded some people of another NFL wide receiver out of Marshall…Randy Moss. Clark sometimes looked like a man among boys with some of his acrobatic catches, which highlighted his size and jumping ability.
Clark also had four catches this preseason for 34 yards and a touchdown.
But seeing that wide receiver is one of the deepest positions on the Packers, and also that the Packers selected two wide receivers in the 2017 draft, the odds of Clark making the final 53-man roster were somewhat slim.
In the end, Clark did not make the final roster, but he did find a spot on the 10-man practice squad. And if history is a blueprint for the future, things could get interesting for Clark and the Packers down the road.
Case in point, look at wide receiver Geronimo Allison. The former Fighting Illini star had a great training camp with the Packers in 2016, as he was also undrafted, but Allison missed out on getting on the 53-man roster.
But the Packers were able to keep Allison on their practice squad and then elevated him to the roster in late October last season. Allison then had 12 catches for 202 yards and two touchdowns in the regular season, plus had five receptions for 65 yards in the postseason.
Allison will be serving a one-game suspension in Week 1 of the 2017 season, but has established himself as the fourth wide receiver in the pecking order of the Packers, behind Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams and Randall Cobb.
Allison and Clark have a couple of things in common. One is size. Allison goes 6’3″, 202 pounds, while Clark is even bigger, as he’s 6’6″, 217 pounds.
Both players are from the Tampa Bay area. Allison is from Tampa, while Clark is from St. Petersburg.
I wanted to get a good read on Clark, who only played one year of college football, by talking to NFL scout Chris Landry.
I mentioned to Landry that Clark had shown real athleticism in training camp with his size and leaping ability, but still was a bit raw, due to his lack of experience, as he also played some college basketball. I also asked what type of future Clark has in the NFL.
“Well, you described him [Clark],” Landry said. “He’s very lanky. He can elevate. He’s got very good natural hands that can catch out of frame. Very raw as a route-runner.
“But he’s is certainly a guy who is going to make it and be a big slot and can play X. He’s really a good physical specimen with some ability.”
Clark now gets to practice and keep learning under the guidance of his wide receivers coach Luke Getsy, along with getting some tutelage from the veteran receivers on the team.
Clark and fifth-round draft pick DeAngelo Yancey were the only wide receivers that made the practice squad, as both seventh-round draft pick Malachi Dupre and Max McCaffrey did not.
McCaffrey had an exception training camp as well, and he ended up signing with the New Orleans Saints to join their practice squad.
Meanwhile, Clark has a great opportunity to shine in Green Bay down the road. He has the natural athleticism and size to be a force in the passing game, but needs to continue to get better in running routes and learning the nuances of playing wide receiver in the NFL.
Time will tell what will happen down the road with Clark and his future with the Packers, but this past training camp tells us that Clark can be a real weapon at some point fairly soon.