Through two games, Frank Clark is tied for the NFL lead in sacks with three, already matching the number he had last season in 15 games as a rookie.

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Frank Clark said he considers last season as his “introduction to the NFL.’’

Now slimmed down and feeling more comfortable in his role — he’s specifically helping fill the nickel package pass-rushing void created by the departure of defensive end Bruce Irvin — it’s Clark who is doing some introducing of his own to the rest of the league.

Through two games, Clark is tied for the NFL lead in sacks with three, already matching the number he had last season in 15 games as a rookie.


Defensive coordinator Kris Richard said Clark’s performance so far is “not a surprise. We anticipated it, and we’re really looking forward to what the future is going to bring to him.”

But while this may be what the Seahawks say they expected, not everybody was always so convinced.

Clark was drafted in 2015 amid controversy due to his legal issues — he had been dismissed from the team at Michigan in 2014 after a domestic-violence arrest, eventually pleading guilty to disorderly conduct.

But he was also regarded as far from a sure thing from a strictly football standpoint, which had NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock predicting Clark might go undrafted.

“The more talent you have physically, the more rope we give you,’’ Mayock said before the 2015 draft. “I think if he was a first-round prospect, people would try to keep him alive longer. But he’s a mid- to late-(round) prospect. I think most teams are going ‘let’s not even deal with it.’ ”

The Seahawks, though, pulled one of the surprises of the draft in taking Clark late in the second round at No. 63 overall.

Two games into a second season is too early to definitively conclude anything. But in a year when the Seahawks needed some of their young defensive linemen to step up, Clark has so far filled the bill.

“I knew going into my second year there was going to be a lot asked of me with the exit of Bruce,’’ Clark said this week.

In anticipation of taking more of Irvin’s edge-rushing role, Clark dropped from about 275 pounds to roughly 260.

Interestingly, though, as Pro Football Focus detailed this week, Clark has done much of his damage when positioned inside. According to PFF, Clark lined up at seven different spots along the line in 35 snaps against the Rams, getting two sacks when lined up at nose tackle and left defensive tackle.

That Clark would play a variety of defensive-line roles has always been part of the plan, though.

The Seahawks have thrived using Michael Bennett outside on run downs and inside on passing downs, and they have envisioned Clark playing similarly since the day he arrived.

“We’re moving him around a lot like we talked about,’’ coach Pete Carroll said this week. “… He’s more explosive than we’ve seen, and I think it’s been a better factor for us.”

That explosiveness could be in part due to the weight loss — Clark said he simply started “eating all the right things.’’

Clark, though, also said he just feels more urgency this year than last season.

“I don’t think it’s the weight loss,’’ he said. “It’s the mentality. I understood more of what was asked of me and I understand that I wasn’t a rookie anymore and that to be a part of this league you’ve got to produce constantly.’’

Richard refers to Clark as having matured.

Richard, though, also said it’s on Clark to continue on that path.

“His responsibility is to make sure that he maintains his level of humility and continues to prepare,’’ Richard said.

Clark understands the end of his Michigan career and the controversy that greeted his entrance to the NFL means he will always be under a somewhat harsher spotlight.

But Clark said another life change — the birth of his first child — also has him seeing things in a different light. His daughter, Phoenix, is 5 months old.

“I’ve got a daughter at home I wake up every morning and look at,’’ he said. “When I look at her, I know if she could just talk right now the first thing she would be saying is, ‘I’m hungry, who is going to feed me? Who is going to feed me, daddy?’ And that is inspiration in itself every day.’’