The Las Vegas Raiders have done plenty of wheeling and dealing this offseason and might not be done yet. Training camp is closing in and there are going to be difficult roster decisions ahead. One interesting player to watch is Clelin Ferrell.
The former No. 4 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft had difficulty carving out a role on the Raiders’ defense last season. Patrick Graham has replaced Gus Bradley as defensive coordinator, which could open up the door for Ferrell to have an expanded role. However, it could also mean he’s no longer a fit on the defense.
There’s been speculation that the defensive lineman could get traded this offseason but the team hasn’t started shopping him yet. Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report believes that trading Ferrell could be beneficial for both sides:
Ferrell was saddled with outsized expectations as a top-five selection, and he’s never come close to achieving any of them. In three seasons, the defensive lineman has managed a meager eight sacks. He’s not a difference-maker and doesn’t even have a specific role in the coaching staff’s new defense.
General manager Dave Ziegler, head coach Josh McDaniels and defensive coordinator Patrick Graham have no ties to the 25-year-old edge. At this point, he’s nothing more than sunk cost and possible depth. Instead of trying to shoehorn him into their system, the Raiders could try to trade him to another squad that still sees some potential in him.
That might be best for both parties.
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How Valuable Is Ferrell in a Trade?
Ferrell has been in the league for three years now and it was widely considered a reach when the Raiders used a top-five draft pick on him. Considering he has 8.0 sacks in those three seasons, opinions of him being a reach haven’t changed. If the Raiders were to shop him in a trade, they can’t expect a big return.
The ceiling for a trade haul is likely a fifth-round pick. That’s not great value for a player the Raiders used such a high pick on. It doesn’t make a ton of sense to trade him right now. Perhaps he can be a key player on Graham’s defense. If not, he’ll be a free agent at the end of the year.
Maxx Crosby Ranked as 5th Best NFL Pass Rusher
The miss on Ferrell on the draft hurts a lot less due to the fact that the Raiders found a pass-rushing gem later in the same draft. Fourth-round pick Maxx Crosby has developed into a star. He was named Second-Team All-Pro last season and rewarded with a huge contract this offseason. ESPN recently had executives and coaches ranked the best pass rushers in the NFL and Crosby was ranked at No. 5.
“He’s not the most gifted on the list, but he’s so damn relentless, and he’s got great power [and] knows how to use it,” an AFC defensive coach said. “He’s a technician, too.”