With the addition of new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, many Las Vegas Raiders players wondered what defense would be run in Las Vegas. After all, the unit was built to run even fronts, but Graham has always run a 3-4. However, the cat may be officially out of the bag.
In an interview withÂ Popculture,Â former first-round pick Clelin Ferrell was introduced as a defensive end. Known as a defensive lineman since his days at Clemson, this made sense. Alas, Ferrell quickly corrected the interviewer saying, “Hey I’m an outside linebacker now.”
Of course, Ferrell is a pass rusher. Regardless of the position next to his name, Ferrell was drafted to get pressure on quarterbacks. The reason this is interesting is solely due to how it affects the defense as a whole. If Ferrell is being switched to OLB, then so will Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones.
This will be the first time the Raiders have run an odd front in many years. After seeing the 4-3 under Ken Norton, Paul Guenther, and Gus Bradley, the Las Vegas defense will be aesthetically different in 2022.
Clelin Ferrell has work to do for the Las Vegas Raiders
Aside from his position switch, Ferrell has work to do just to make the roster. While he has a first-round pedigree, that selection came under the Mayock/Gruden regime. The current administration of Dave Ziegler and company have no attachments to Ferrell.
In addition, Ferrell just has not been good so far in his NFL career. Drafted with the hopes of replacing Khalil Mack, Ferrell has just eight sacks in three seasons with the Raiders. Last season, Ferrell was replaced by Yannick Ngakoue. In 2022, Ziegler signed Chandler Jones to play opposite Crosby. With youngster Malcolm Koonce hot on his tail, he will have to fight to earn a spot.
While the position switch may feel like an interesting change, Ferrell’s responsibilities will not be changing. His goal will still be rushing the passer. Unfortunately for him, if this off-season doesn’t go well, this may be his last chance to earn a role with the Raiders.
*Top Photo: Ashley Landis/Associated Press