Chuck Clark was an unheralded addition to the Ravens when he was drafted in 2016, spending the early part of his NFL career primarily on special teams. His play since becoming a starter, however, has demonstrated his value to the Ravens and the rest of the league.
A sixth round pick out of Virginia Tech, Clark took over a starting safety spot midway through the 2019 season when Tony Jefferson was injured. He has been an every-down player ever since, teaming with Eric Weddle, then DeShon Elliott, at the backend of the team’s secondary. He has emerged as not only a statistical contributor, but also a valued leader during recent years.
In two full seasons as a starter, Clark hasn’t put up the kind of production a number of high-profile safeties have, but he has nevertheless been a steady presence. He has totalled 176 tackles, three interceptions and 16 pass deflections since 2021, while occupying an important role outside of statistical production. As the player wearing the green dot for communication, Clark has operated as, in essence, the ‘defensive QB’ since he assumed a starting role.
Expectations were raised for his effectiveness in 2022 and beyond when the Ravens signed Marcus Williams in free agency. As a more natural ‘centerfielder’ type of free safety, Williams represented an Elliott replacement who would allow Clark to operate closer to the line of scrimmage, which his athletic profile is better suited to. It wasn’t until the team drafted Kyle Hamilton in the first round of the draft that Clark emerged on the trade radar.