A forgotten man in a stacked Baltimore Ravens secondary, Chuck Clark is bound to outperform what was a stellar 2019 season in 2020.
Headed into 2019, Chuck Clark was a bit of an afterthought in Baltimore. Clark was a guy fighting for a spot on the final 53-man roster who had seemingly no chance to make a significant impact on the Baltimore Ravens defense. But when Tony Jefferson went down with an injury and Clark was forced to step up, he did so beautifully.
Chuck Clark wound up leading the Ravens in tackles (73) through 16 games (12 starts) while also adding a sack and an interception to his stat sheet. Sure, it was no Pro Bowl resume, but it was a pretty stellar performance given the circumstance. More importantly, his performance was seen as an upgrade to Jefferson. The team expressed this same confidence when it released Jefferson during this past offseason and signed Clark to a three-year $15.3 million contract extension.
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Headed into 2020, Chuck Clark is the unquestioned starter at the strong safety spot opposite Earl Thomas. He compliments Thomas’s centerfielder play on the backend of the secondary with his ferocity and play-recognition closer to the LOS. Clark and Thomas are one of the NFL’s best safety duos.
This secondary also features four stud cornerbacks in Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters, Jimmy Smith, and Tavon Young. With those four and the safety duo of Clark and Thomas, Baltimore has arguably the league’s best secondary.
Even with so many big names, Chuck Clark still has a very important role to play for this secondary. Clark will be a guide to the young rookie linebackers, Patrick Queen and Malik Harrison, in the front-seven as they adjust to the play-speed of the professional level. Clark will also be tasked with helping to improve what was a lackluster run defense in 2019. It seems likely that Clark will be a tackling machine and one of, if not the, most productive defenders in that department.
It’s also expected that Clark rounds out his game more and becomes a bit of a do-it-all safety for the Ravens. Clark may not be elite in any one category, but he’s already solid across the board. If he takes the next step in his development, Baltimore may have themselves one of the better and more underrated safeties in all of football.
Chuck Clark will also love being an overlooked defender on this defense. That secondary is ridiculously talented, but the front-seven also has those two rookie linebackers, Matt Judon, Calais Campbell, Derek Wolfe, and Brandon Williams for opposing offenses to worry about. Clark is going to fly under the radar because of all those names and reap the benefits of it.
Sleep on him, however, and he’ll make you pay for doing so.
Life will be made pretty easy for Chuck Clark in this secondary. Nonetheless, I suspect he’ll still stand out in his own way and make opposing offenses fear him. Clark is simply a well-rounded defender who will fill out a loaded secondary and cause opposing offenses to suffer should they take him for granted. Clark will fly all over this defense and be one of its most important players. Fans will consider “Chuck Clark” a household name by season’s end.
Chuck Clark 2020 projected stats: 85 tackles, two sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles