The Oakland Raiders have some rookies that are really going to need to make an impact in 2019 if they’re going to make the playoffs. Chief among those rookies is fourth overall pick out of Clemson, Clelin Ferrell. The Raiders had no consistent pass rush threat on the roster in 2018, so Ferrell is going to be relied on heavily to get to the quarterback. Many considered him a reach when the team drafted him, but that shouldn’t discount the fact that he was highly productive in his college career. He’s already been getting the praise of teammates and head coach Jon Gruden.
Jon Gruden Heaps Praise Upon Rookie Clelin Ferrell
After Saturday’s practice, Gruden had a chance to talk about his rookie defensive end.
“His pursuit, his ability to stop the run, his play recognition, he’s going to be a really good power rusher, I think,” said Gruden when asked about Ferrell. “We’re happy with Ferrell.”
Ferrell isn’t the freak athlete that a lot of pass rushers are these days, but he’s very eager to learn. He’s a player with very high character. When Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller did his scouting report on Ferrell, he compared him to new Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark. Clark has 32 sacks over the last three seasons, so the Raiders wouldn’t be too upset if that’s what he develops into.
It’s unlikely that Ferrell will develop into the type of sack artists that get 20 sacks a season like J.J. Watt. The comparison to Clark seems pretty accurate. Ferrell will probably hover between 10 and 13 sacks a year. Luckily, that’s exactly what the Raiders need. A consistent sack threat that is an all-around player. He may not have the upside of a Josh Allen, but he’s an NFL-ready rookie and will be a solid contributor for Oakland.
He’s already impressed as a leader and while it’s hard to gauge how well his pass-rushing skills are developing, the fact the team slated him as a starter is a good sign. Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said Ferrell has been “exactly what we thought he was” as a player that is capable of being an “every-down end.”
Follow the Heavy Oakland Raiders page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
How Did Ferrell Do in His First Two Preseason Games?
Through the first two preseason games for the Raiders, Ferrell has had a chance to take a good amount of snaps. According to Silver & Black Pride, he saw 30% off the team’s defensive snaps against the Los Angeles Rams. He got two tackles and no sacks. He made his way around the field and showed good hustle. He still needs work if he’s going to get to the quarterback, but he has time. Ferrell also took 30% of the defensive snaps against the Arizona Cardinals. He only got one tackle on them and still hasn’t gotten a sack. That being said, he’s looked solid. He definitely needs to start tallying sacks sooner rather than later. It’s still just the preseason, so his development will be something to keep an eye on.