The Las Vegas Raiders could’ve taken linebacker Devin White with the fourth overall pick in 2019’s NFL draft. Instead, they went with Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell. At the time, the decision was puzzling. Almost two years later, it is clear the Silver and Black passed up the chance to take a top-notch player.
What has Devin White done?
Once the Raiders drafted Ferrell, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wasted no time and used the fifth overall pick on White. In two years, the LSU product has logged 231 total tackles (19 for a loss), 11.5 sacks, seven pass defensed, four force fumbles, and one interception. Moreover, he was a key cog in the Buccaneers’ Super Bowl run, registering 38 total tackles (three for a loss), two pass deflections, and two interceptions.
Meanwhile, ‘Cle’ has struggled to make an impact on the field in the last two years, tallying 65 total tackles (11 for a loss), 6.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles. He has been solid against the run. Nevertheless, you don’t use a top-five selection to draft a run stuffer. This is not by any means Ferrell’s fault. He didn’t choose his draft slot. Instead, this one falls on the Raiders, who passed up the chance to choose a difference-maker.
How does this affect the Raiders?
Ferrell could end up becoming a fine player and maybe even a perennial Pro Bowler. Nevertheless, the results are not encouraging so far. General manager Mike Mayock said on a recent sit-down the Clemson product is still developing, but the fact the Raiders could look for defensive end help in this year’s selection meeting doesn’t bode well for him.
To add insult to injury, White wanted the Raiders to take him fourth overall. This is not an isolated incident either, as the team hasn’t had much success adding playmakers in the first round in recent years. It’s true the draft is a crapshoot, but Las Vegas’ track record with first-round picks has been less than stellar in the last two years.
The Raiders’ failure to become a playoff team goes beyond one player. Coaching and free-agency miscues have also played a big role. However, the Raiders watched the Super Bowl in the comfort of their home while White helped the ‘Bucs’ raise the Lombardi trophy in just his second year in the NFL.
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