Clelin Ferrell spent his Las Vegas Raiders career being called a “bust” as he struggled to live up to his billing as a top-five draft pick from the 2019 NFL draft. Now, he’s gone from a selection once expected to become the face of the Raiders’ pass rush to becoming teammates with fellow class member Nick Bosa.
However, one former teammate of his likes the situation Ferrell is walking into with the San Francisco 49ers — and predicts this change of scenery will be complementary for Ferrell’s game as a defender.
Speaking with Heavy as part of his partnership with Visionworks, free agent defensive end Isaac Rochell addressed the fit for the 49ers’ newest $2.5 million addition on Monday, May 15.
“He’s a great guy and I think it’s also really cool he got some opportunity there at the end of the season. But I think he’ll be a good fit, especially with that D-line in that room. It’ll complement his style,” Rochell said to Heavy.
Ferrell is once again heading to a more defensive line-friendly setup in the Bay Area. It’s a system that thrives on rotating its edge rushers including throwing a special look called “NASCAR,” which involves placing four defensive ends on the field at the same time.
Ferrell and Rochell played together on a defensive scheme that emphasizes having a power edge rusher. In other words, utilizing a defensive end who can serve more as someone who can provide strength in opening up the defense for the opposite ends. Both have since defected from Patrick Graham and his philosophy with the Raiders.
Is Rochell Open About Re-Teaming With Ferrell?
Ferrell, again, was one of the key offseason additions to the 49ers defense. Especially after losing long defender Charles Omenihu as well as Jordan Willis to Ferrell and Rochell’s former team. Samson Ebukam was another key loss in the edge rush room.
While Ferrell and Austin Bryant represent the free agent additions, could there be room to add one more through the towering and powerful 6-foot-4, 280-pound Rochell? The 28-year-old says he’s already used to a 49ers style anyway…from his Cleveland Brown days.
“It’s funny. I’ve been in defenses that mimic that defense — so I know that defense like the back of my hand,” Rochell said. “The Browns essentially ran the same thing. So it’ll definitely be a fit. A 4-3 defense is my perfect fit, so we’ll see.”
Rochell last collected 11 solo tackles and a tackle for a loss playing alongside Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney with the Browns. That was before he joined the Raiders in late December after being terminated from his practice squad contract with Cleveland.
Rochell has also had stops with the Indianapolis Colts where he played with former 49er DeForest Buckner and suited up for the Los Angeles Chargers — the latter team drafted him in the seventh round of the 2017 draft and where he has 74 of his 103 total tackles according to Pro Football Reference. He’s also delivered all 9.5 of his career sacks with the Bolts.
Rochell With Visionworks
Rochell has partnered with the eyeglasses company as part of their “subtitles” campaign as part of Healthy Vision Month for the month of May.
“The goal is to just kind of create some awareness around going in and scheduling an eye exam,” Rochell said. “The reason why is because a lot of things come from eye exams that’s not just ‘here’s your vision.’ There’s a lot of different things you can learn from eye exams.”
Rochell additionally partnered with the company due to his personal history.
“I, personally, have had a history of eye issues,” Rochell said. “So for me to be able to do this campaign and partner with them, it makes a lot of sense. I’ve been getting three to four eye exams a year for six years straight because of my eye history. And I just think it’s really important.”