The Las Vegas Raiders surely expected better from defensive end Clelin Ferrell when they made him the fourth overall pick in the 20219 NFL Draft. In a re-do, they wait for the Clemson standout, changing their pick in the process.
Alex Kay of Bleacher Report had the Raiders taking Montez Sweat fourth overall in a recent 2019 draft redo. He points out the Mississippi State product has become a difference-making in his first two NFL seasons, posting 95 total tackles, 33 hits, 16 sacks, and four forced fumbles. Moreover, the EDGE defender has displayed the ability to drop in coverage, making him an asset against the pass.
Meanwhile, Ferrell has struggled to become the playmaker the Raiders expected. He’s stout against the run, but you don’t take a run defender fourth overall. Pro Football Focus ranked the Clemson standout as the 16th best EDGE defender in 2020. However, he logged just two sacks and had a hard time generating pressure, so drafting Sweat over Ferrell would be a significant upgrade.
Funny enough, the Raiders still take Ferrell in Kay’s draft redo. Keep in mind that they had three first-round selections, the fourth, the 24th, and the 27th. Originally, Las Vegas took running back Josh Jacobs with the 24th overall selection. Nevertheless, they take center Elgton Jenkins, whom the Green Bay Packers took 44th overall. Lastly, they use the 27th pick on Ferrell, “his production is more in line” with that draft slot.
Montez Sweat would be an asset for the Raiders
The Raiders should’ve drafted Sweat fourth overall but hindsight is 20/20. There’s no way they would know he was going to be a better player than Ferrell. The draft is a crapshoot and there wasn’t a surefire pass-rusher in 2019. Also, there’s still time for the Virginia native to turn things around. After all, some players need more time to develop but end up becoming playmakers. Kolton Miller has already signed a contract extension and has become a solid starter even though he was one of the worst left tackles in his rookie campaign. The team’s brass trusted the UCLA product and he rewarded them for their patience.
At this moment, there’s not much Las Vegas can do but wait Ferrell turns the corner. They already cut their losses and moved on from defensive end Arden Key. Being a first-round selection will give Ferrell more leeway but there’s going to be a point in which he will need to show meaningful growth. The ball is on the Silver and Black’s court.
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