In the NFL, several players have to contribute to make a dominant and elite-caliber defense. For the Baltimore Ravens, they have to rely on Pro Bowlers like defensive end Calais Campbell and cornerback Marlon Humphrey to set the momentum. Some players can contribute consistently to help the Ravens’ defense remain as one of the top defenses in the league. One of those players is former Virginia Tech Hokie and Baltimore strong safety Chuck Clark, who is turning into one of the most versatile defenders in the NFL.
Chuck Clark’s versatility and snaps for Baltimore
In the five games this 2021 NFL season for Baltimore, the former Hokie has played a vast amount of defensive positions. Before last night’s game versus the Indianapolis Colts, Clark was recorded at 12 different defensive positions for the Ravens. The most he has played in the first four games for Baltimore was 132 snaps at free safety. This is a position where he can be more efficient on the weak side of the opposing offense as he can chase down tackles and make the key pass breakups or tackles while in zone coverages.
He has played his second-most snaps at the wide left cornerback at 36 reps, where he is an efficient man coverage defensive back. He also played 18 reps at the left slot cornerback in times that the defense of Baltimore needed to defend extra receivers. His versatility doesn’t stop at being a defensive back, Clark has played 18 reps at left outside linebacker, ten reps at left inside linebacker, eight reps at right inside linebacker, six reps at right defensive tackle, four reps at right outside linebacker and, finally, left defensive tackle. Finally, Clark has played five reps at wide right cornerback, four reps at right slot cornerback, and three reps at strong safety. In times that Baltimore needed a playmaker to fill in several roles, Clark was that defender.
Clark is one of the most valuable defenders on the team
The Ravens are currently 4-1 in a battle to win the AFC North for the first time since the 2019 NFL season. Baltimore’s offense gets the attention because of quarterback Lamar Jackson, but the defense is just as productive as their offense. The Ravens’ defense ranks 15th in the league in points allowed per game (23.4) and seventh in the league in rushing yards allowed per game (93.2). This is due to the solid cast they have at each position group and the key players contributing vital roles. Clark’s consistency and efficiency have put him in the top ranks of the Ravens’ defense.
In five games this season, Clark has accumulated 28 total tackles, 18 solo tackles, three tackles for loss, and three pass breakups. He is the only defender for Baltimore who has played all 100% of defensive snaps all season. The next closest in Humphrey at 99.7% of defensive snaps played. Clark is a player that has earned the unofficial title of a consistent workhorse for the Ravens’ defense. He fills in several roles on defense and he doesn’t stop until the team forces fourth down. This season, Clark is becoming a leader by example for Baltimore as they chase for their third potential Super Bowl title in franchise history.