The Philadelphia Eagles just signed the guy responsible for Patrick Mahomes going to the Kansas City Chiefs. Wait, what the heck are you talking about?
The Eagles inked veteran offensive tackle Le’Raven Clark on Wednesday. The 28-year-old spent the last four seasons with the Indianapolis Colts as a part-time starter at guard and tackle. He has seen action in 47 NFL games (15 starts), including making three starts last year before a torn Achilles ended his season in Week 13. He had been filling in for injured starter Anthony Costanzo. Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni was his offensive coordinator in Indianapolis.
Prior to all that, Clark was a highly-touted offensive line prospect at Texas Tech where he was teammates with Mahomes. The story goes (via the Chicago Tribune) that Chiefs general manager Brett Veach was scouting Clark in 2015 when he kept seeing the Red Raiders sophomore quarterback make one “unfathomable throw after another.” The kid’s name was Patrick Mahomes. Two years later, Veach traded two first-round picks and a third-rounder to move up to No. 10 and draft Mahomes.
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Trick Play 300-Pounder at Texas Tech
Clark’s coach at Texas Tech was Kliff Kingsbury who now guides the Arizona Cardinals. Kingsbury was fond of running trick plays with his 308-pound offensive tackle and twice used him to convert two-point plays.
Clark rumbled into the endzone on a two-pointer against Kansas in 2015, then hauled in a batted Mahomes ball for another one later in the year versus Oklahoma State. He finished his college career with one catch for 13 yards while starting 51 games on the offensive line.
“We lean on him a lot. We single him up a lot,” Kingsbury said of Clark in 2015, via The Oklahoman. “We can slide that way and do things of that nature. It was just a common expectation for everybody on our offense, quarterback included, running backs, knowing that he’s in there and he’ll get the job done.”
Freakish Build and Athletic Traits
The scouts were high on Clark coming out of college. He was seen as an excellent run blocker with a “freakish build and athletic traits,” per Pro Football Focus. The 6-foot-5, 316-pounder was ranked the eighth-best offensive tackle among those players in the Power 5 conferences.
Clark was praised for his excellent hand size (11 ⅞ inches) and arm length (36 ⅛ inches). The only knock was on his work in pass protection. He parlayed the pre-draft hype into a third-round selection (82nd overall) in 2016. Bleacher Report wrote the following scouting report about him:
Long, long, long. Le’Raven Clark’s 36 ⅛” arms are exactly what NFL scouts want. If you put 10 scouts in a room and asked them to design a left tackle, Clark’s measurables are what you’d get. His 51 starts in college don’t hurt either.
Clark’s athleticism pops off the tape. He easily moves to reach linebackers in the run game and is a master of movement in zone-running situations. With a strong lower body, Clark can anchor against bull-rushers but will also lock horns and drive defenders out in the run game.