2019 NFL Draft Grades: Raiders get a C for Clelin Ferrell selection at No. 4 overall
The Raiders make the first surprise pick of the draft, taking the Clemson product ahead of other defenders
With the No. 4 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Raiders selected Clelin Ferrell, edge rusher out of Clemson. A dominant college career, Ferrell has an explosive first step, good change of direction and a high motor. He needs to work on getting stronger but despite concerns about flexibility, he has the athleticism to regularly turn the corner on offensive tackles and get to the quarterback.
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Pete Prisco: If you get good Clelin Ferrell, you are getting an 'A' player. If you get bad Clelin Ferrell, you are getting an 'F' player. Too much inconsistency from him. They need edge players, but I think there were better options here. I'd have taken Josh Allen or even Ed Oliver.
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Dave Richard: Clelin Ferrell had 21 sacks over his last two seasons as one of Clemson's most dangerous defenders. He popped on film when I watched ACC offensive players. The Raiders are in major need of a defensive overhaul, and this is where it begins. He should end up starting right away and might even register as a good late-round pick in IDP leagues, but his arrival alone won't make the Raiders DST worth drafting, even against the Broncos in Week 1.
NFL comparison: Chandler Jones
Chris Trapasso: Ferrell is a power defensive end who wins with a long reach, strength, and above-average athleticism. He can be a stellar run defender from the first moment he steps onto an NFL field. Sounds a lot like Jones to me. Ferrell isn't a super-flashy, low-dip-around-the-corner speed rusher. He's a prospect who can instantly overwhelm pro tackles with his length and strength combination, and his pass-rushing arsenal got better as the season progressed in 2018.
Ryan Wilson: Ferrell played high school football in Richmond, Va. As a redshirt freshman, Ferrell logged six sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss. The following year he was names to the 2017 College Football All-American Team as a redshirt sophomore after 9.5 sacks and 18 tackles for loss. Last season, during the Tigers' run to the national title, Ferrell had 11.5 sacks, 20 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles.
Among all FBS edge rushers, Ferrell ranked 10th in Pro Football Focus' pass-rush productivity metric and he was 19th in generating inside pressure. However, he finished 94th in run-stop percentage.
Ryan Wilson: Ferrell, who had a dominant college career, has an explosive first step, good change of direction and a high motor. He has an assortment of pass-rush moves and shows good lateral mobility for someone who's 6-foot-4 and 264 pounds. Better suited to play defensive end in a 4-3 scheme but could also be a 3-4 outside linebacker.
Here's Ferrell bull-rushing Alabama left tackle and likely first-round pick Jonah Williams in the national title game:
Ryan Wilson: Ferrell needs to get stronger but despite concerns about flexibility, he has the athleticism to regularly turn the corner on offensive tackles and get to the quarterback.
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