The Oakland Raiders have exceeded expectations so far in 2019 and have pulled off some impressive wins. However, it hasn’t been a perfect showing by the team through seven games. While the offense has turned into one of the best in the NFL, the defense is still a mess. Many of the problems stem from the unit’s inability to get after the quarterback. It was a major issue last year and it remains an issue now. Oakland tried to address the pass rush by adding an EDGE rusher with their fourth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. However, Clelin Ferrell has yet to live up to his draft status.
Ferrell has had plenty of chances to get after the quarterback but has only gotten one sack and that came in the first game of the season against the Denver Broncos. That was a promising start for the rookie, but he hasn’t done much of anything since.
Per Josh Dubow at the Associated Press, Ferrell hasn’t even pressured the quarterback since that Week 1 sack. That’s a very surprising reveal considering even in Khalil Mack’s lackluster rookie season, he had 20 quarterback pressures in his first seven games. The analytics don’t favor Ferrell very much at all.
Ferell Is Second Lowest Graded Top-5 Pick, Says PFF
Pro Football Focus hasn’t been kind to Ferrell since the start of the season and that didn’t change after Week 8.
Through six games played, Ferrell is only graded at 46.5, which is the lowest among top-four picks. Here’s what they had to say:
Ferrell is still waiting for his big break in a Raiders uniform, as he ended yet another game with a grade below 60.0. He managed only two quarterback hurries from 27 pass-rush snaps and missed one of his three tackle attempts in Week 8 against the Texans. He now ranks 116th among 117 qualifying edge defenders in overall grade and last among all rookie edge defenders in pass-rush win rate.
The only rookie in the top-five who ranks lower than Ferrell is Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Devin White. It’s concerning that the Raiders rookie is ranked as the second-worst edge rusher in the NFL. That’s definitely not what the team had in mind when they drafted him. It’s made more painful by the fact that Josh Allen with the Jacksonville Jaguars, who many expected Oakland to draft, has outplayed Ferrell at this point.
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Two Things Can Be True at Once
Now, it’s true that Clelin Ferrell has not performed up to expectations. However, there’s more than enough time for him to turn things around, even if it has to wait until next season. 2018’s first-round pick Kolton Miller was one of the worst left tackles in the NFL as a rookie. Now he’s playing like a potential pro bowler and is the only player that has started every game for the Raiders’ dominant offensive line.
It’s clear that Ferrell is going to need a lot of work. He’s been outperformed by fourth-round pick Maxx Crosby. Ferrell was consistent as a pass rusher at Clemson, but they had a loaded defense. Now that he’s on a poor defense, it’s becoming difficult for him to stand out. The jury should remain out on Ferrell until he gets a couple of years under his belt.
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