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Dallas Cowboys select LSU linebacker Damone Clark in 2022 NFL Draft

Nick Schultz04/30/22
Article written by:On3 imageNick Schultz

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(Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

In March, former LSU linebacker Damone Clark underwent spinal fusion surgery and questions rose about his draft stock. One team took a chance on him, though.

The Dallas Cowboys selected Clark as a compensatory pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Clark had a monster 2021 season for the Tigers and he’ll try to keep that going despite possibly missing the entire 2022 season.

Clark had 135 total tackles — including 15.0 tackles for loss — and 5.5 sacks for the Tigers last year. He underwent the surgery last month after an MRI at the NFL Combine revealed a herniated disc that required the operation.

Out of high school, Clark was a four-star recruit and the No. 14 prospect in Louisiana from the Class of 2018, according to the On3 Consensus, a complete and equally weighted industry-generated average that utilizes all four major recruiting media companies.

What NFL Draft analysts are saying about Damone Clark

Despite the surgery, Clark’s numbers from the 2021 season show the impact he can make in the NFL. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein noted that in his scouting report, saying he proved he’s a legitimate player during LSU’s game against Alabama when he had eight tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss and a sack.

“Long, well-built inside linebacker packed into an athletic frame,” Zierlein wrote. “Athleticism, toughness and tackling talent helped Clark piled up production in 2021 despite a lack of game-to-game consistency. Play recognition and instincts are erratic and could continue to be, but his game against Alabama should be weighed more heavily in his favor, as it shows what he’s capable of against bigger, better opponents.

“Clark profiles as an early backup and special teams performer with projectable upside in the middle. However, the spinal fusion surgery he underwent in March is likely to sideline him for the 2022 season and could cause him to drop lower than his tools warrant on draft day.”