Aaron Nagler speaks with Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times about the Green Bay Packers' next opponent, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Aaron Nagler/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin
GREEN BAY – Davon House has practiced against Michael Clark. He has watched tape preparing to play against Mike Evans. After doing both, the Green Bay Packers veteran corner had a message for Clark, the practice-squad receiver.
“I see a lot of Mike Evans in him,” House said Thursday in comparing Clark to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' star receiver. “I actually told him earlier today that you might get some cut-ups of him and put it on his tape, because if he can play anything like Mike, he’s going to be really darn good in this league.”
As players, Evans and Clark exist on opposite ends of the NFL spectrum.
Evans was drafted seventh overall in 2014. Since then, he has exceeded 1,000 yards in each of his three seasons, with a Pro Bowl and second-team All-Pro selection last season. At 6-5, 231 pounds, Evans is among the NFL’s most physically imposing receivers, making him one of the league’s toughest matchups.
Clark, a converted basketball player, was undrafted this spring after one season of college football at Marshall. Since then, he has toiled in obscurity on the Packers' practice squad. At 6-6, 217 pounds with impressive leaping ability, Clark has the potential to become an imposing matchup similar to Evans, in House's view.
“They’re both really hard to guard,” House said. “Clark is going to be phenomenal, I’m telling you now.”
House wasn’t taking a swipe at Evans. “The guy is really good,” he said. But he believes Clark has “the same talent level” as Evans.
The difference, of course, is Evans has much more polish. A talented player does not necessarily become a good player, and Clark has a mountain to climb before he can ascend to Evans’ level.
When Clark arrived in Green Bay, his rawness was obvious. But, House said, he has seen improvement from the rookie, enough for him to believe Clark can be a good player in the future.
“I think just fine-tuning their tools,” House said. “… Like Clark, when he came in here, he couldn’t get off the jam just because he’s so lanky. But he found a way to learn how to release a lot better, started running a lot better routes. Usually, tall guys, all they can do is go deep — but not Clark. He can get in and out of his breaks. So things like that.”