There’s no shortage of quality CB talent in the 2023 NFL Draft, and the scouting report of Louisville CB Kei’Trel Clark is just another example. How does Clark project to the NFL, and can he make some noise in a stacked positional group?
Kei’Trel Clark NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Cornerback
- School: Louisville
- Current Year: Senior
- Height/Weight: 5’10”, 177 pounds
He had no stars coming out of high school. His biggest offers came from schools like Charlotte, Western Michigan, Kent State, and Akron. Clark still plays like he has that chip on his shoulder, even after his emergence as a legitimate 2023 NFL Draft prospect.
Clark began his collegiate career at Liberty after distinguishing himself as a playmaker at Manchester High School in Midlothian, Virginia. Despite his complete lack of recruiting buzz, Clark made an immediate impact for the Flames, starting seven of 13 total games as a true freshman.
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It didn’t take long for Power Five schools to notice Clark after that. Following a freshman season that saw him pick up 40 tackles, four tackles for loss, two sacks, and five pass deflections, Clark transferred to Louisville, making the jump to the ACC.
Fast forward to the present, and Clark has been one of the Cardinals’ best defensive players for three years. Over that span, he collected 127 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, a sack, five interceptions (including a pick-six), and 23 deflections. He ascended when no one expected him to, but the work isn’t done yet.
Kei’Trel Clark Scouting Report
- Extremely explosive athlete with elite initial burst and great long speed.
- Smooth technical CB who effortlessly lowers in his stance to supplement transitions.
- Twitchy, high-energy athlete who can quickly adjust attack angles in space.
- Has elite foot speed and burst out of transitions, and can easily correct positioning.
- Has the discipline, short-area agility, and processing to sustain in press-man.
- Can anticipate out-breaking routes and undercut passes with closing speed.
- Brings great hip fluidity and can quickly swivel around to mirror in space.
- Flashes high-end ball skills, coordination, and timing when passes come his way.
- Much more physical in run support than his size would imply, surging downhill.
- Can break down with fast feet before exploding into contact as a tackler.
Areas for Improvement
- Has poor overall size, with a very light frame and a below-average catch radius.
- Lacking wingspan limits his utility against larger opponents.
- Sometimes late to peel off the line in zone and get depth versus intermediate routes.
- Can be worked too far upright on his backpedal, which can delay forward transitions.
- Has ideal foot speed but can be more controlled in short ranges at times.
- Sometimes makes contact too early in contested situations and can be more patient.
- Can rely on physicality to a fault in tight areas, compensating for an undersized frame.
- Can be late to get his head around when tracking vertically, sometimes interfering.
- With lacking size, he naturally struggles to deconstruct blocks at times.
Louisville CB Kei’Trel Clark Current Draft Projection
Clark is just another in a long line of legitimate CB prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft. On my board, he grades out as a potential Day 2 candidate. He could be a steal in the early-to-mid Day 3 range, but with a strong Shrine Bowl showing, the top 100 isn’t out of the question.
Clark may be undersized, but he brings a surprisingly complete skill set even with that size. He’s incredibly explosive, twitchy, and fluid, with lightning-fast feet and good technique. He’s an adept processor who responds to stimuli well and can anticipate routes. At the catch point, his ball skills are superb, and he’s an absolute dog coming downhill in support.
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On top of his natural talent and football IQ, Clark displayed the ability to play both on the boundary and in the slot in college. Taking his size into account, he may be confined to a slot role in the NFL.
Nevertheless, with his explosive, high-energy athleticism, quick processing capacity, biting physicality for his size, and undeniable playmaking presence, Clark can be a starting slot CB early in his career, with modest versatility and impact potential in both phases.