The Oakland Raiders drafted ClelinFerrell with the No. 4 overall pick in 2019, and despite an up and down first season, 2020 should bring more success.
In the 2019 NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders selected Clelin Ferrell with the fourth overall pick. Many analysts and fans viewed the pick as a reach, especially with other defenders such as Josh Allen, Brian Burns and Ed Oliver taken later.
As Ferrell started his season, he already faced scrutiny as a top-five pick on a rebuilding defense that had traded away perennial All-Pro Khalil Mack a season earlier. The beginning of Ferrell’s rookie campaign started with a Monday night sack in the home opener in an impressive outing that saw him finish the evening with a tackle for loss and two more hits on the quarterback.
Ferrell was quickly struck with an illness that caused him to lose fifteen pounds, the same illness that rookie RB Josh Jacobs suffered from, and was often placed out of position playing on the interior line limiting his effectiveness. When asked about Ferrell, Jon Gruden stated “We asked him to do way too much early in this season. We had him playing inside quite a bit. … He didn’t do a lot of that at Clemson. So, I think next year when he becomes more of a full-time defensive end acclimated to the scheme better, I think he’ll show even more and more improvement.”
The former Clemson Tiger finished his rookie campaign with 4.5 sacks while playing 62% of the defensive snaps on the year, and while many fans labeled him a bust after his first year, Gruden gave him his vote of confidence stating that “Ferrell is a well-rounded defensive end” not a pass rush “specialist designed to come on for 30 snaps a game”.
Ferrell himself, who is constantly working to improve his game, sees an opportunity to improve in his second year and has stated that he intends return as a completely different player.
So what can we expect from Ferrell in Year 2?