As the season approaches, many players are preparing to either take their first snap or take the next step in their careers. Clelin Ferrell, the Las Vegas Raiders’ former first-round pick, is one of those players. Following the team’s decision to not pick up his fifth-year option, the writing may be on the wall. While this isn’t the ideal circumstance for anyone, he may use it as motivation. Let’s take a deep dive into the former Clemson Tiger’s 2021 season.
“The Oakland Raiders select Clelin Ferrell”
Raiders fans: pic.twitter.com/6eGdWQ0Qhk
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) April 26, 2019
Not the best year for the former fourth overall pick
Looking back on Ferrell’s season, it was disappointing. He started zero games this season but played in 16 regular season games. In those games, he totaled one and a half sacks, one pass deflection, and fourteen combined tackles, six of which were assisted and eight of which were combined, to go along with six quarterback hits and one tackle for loss.
While this isn’t a defensive clinic, those numbers aren’t what you’d expect from someone chosen in the top five. It’s worth mentioning that in his first year under Guenther, he actually fared slightly better than this past season. There’s a chance that Gus Bradley’s system might’ve led to some regression for Ferrell.
#Raiders DE Clelin Ferrell with his best pass rush to date. Good hand usage, speed swipe, turns the corner, then attacks throwing arm to chop ball out. Hankins makes the recovery.#RaiderNation 🎥: @Rholm22 pic.twitter.com/eSG9uaFKJL
— Ramble Digital Media™ (@RambleDMedia) December 11, 2020
In two seasons under Guenther, he had 6.5 sacks, eight pass deflections, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and 65 combined tackles, 42 of which were solo and 23 of which were combined. Along with that, he had 11 tackles for loss and 16 quarterback hits.
His career with the Silver and Black hasn’t been the best, especially when compared to the others in his draft class who have surpassed him by a long shot. Ironically, one of the players on his team who has outperformed him was picked in the fourth round of the same draft.
It’s also worth noting there was much talk surrounding Ferrell last season. Nevertheless, the defensive end stayed put.
A fresh start under Raiders defensive coordinator Patrick Graham
With the hiring of new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, the former New York Giants assistant is expected to implement a variety of defensive schemes. These changes could end up benefiting Ferrell. It will be of the utmost importance for Ferrell to show out under Graham. If not, it could be his final year with the Raiders.
*Top Photo: Cary Edmondson/USA Today Sports