Clelin Ferrell – Clemson University, Defensive End
6’4” 264 lbs
Classification: Redshirt Junior (Senior)
High School: Benedictine College Preparatory, Richmond, Virginia
2018 Stats – 55 tackles (29 solo) 11.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 2 passes deflected
2017 Stats – 66 tackles (33 solo), 9.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 passes deflected
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Twitter: @Cle_Missile Instagram: missiledreaming
A key part of rushing the passer is getting off the line of scrimmage quickly. When a defensive lineman can get off the line quickly, it puts a lot of pressure on opposing blockers. Pressure on blockers means pressure on the Quarterback, which is usually trouble for an offense. Clelin Ferrell has the best “first step” in this entire draft. The 804 product was a machine rushing the passer on Clemson’s National Championship defense, racking up 11.5 sacks in his 2018 season. Ferrell pairs his tremendous ‘get off’ ability with strength, leverage, and athleticism to cause havoc for offenses. His game tape shows off plenty of versatility as a rusher. He has a complete array of moves that include the swim, rip, and chop to name a few. Ferrell can be a little stiff at times, and some coaches may want him to show more flexibility and bend when coming off the edge. Ferrell also doesn’t have a lot of pass coverage experience on his game tape, which may cause teams running a 3-4 defensive scheme to hesitate on drafting him high. Outside of those concerns, Ferrell is as well-rounded of a defensive end that you could ask for. He is strong against the run and plays with a high motor. The Clemson Tiger is an absolute lock to be a first round pick in this year’s NFL Draft.
Ferrell has all of the tools to be a very productive pass rusher at the next level. His first step is scary. Like, really scary. Even while playing next to other elite players like Christian Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence along that Clemson defensive line, Ferrell was the first man off the line of scrimmage damn near every play. That kind of natural feel and timing does not come around often. If the poor offensive lineman gets back in his stance fast enough, Ferrell still has a full arsenal of pass rush moves to unleash. With more coaching and development, he could be a pass rushing technician at the next level. The only thing keeping Ferrell from being selected as one of the top 2 or 3 EDGE rushers is his athleticism. Ferrell is a good, but not great athlete, in comparison to other defensive ends that will get drafted ahead of him. His closing speed when rushing the Quarterback could be better. He is also limited in his ability to drop back into coverage. The pass coverage aspect of his game “could” improve with the right coaching at the next level, but I think it’s safe to say he should be a 4-3 defensive end for the majority of his career. When engaging blockers in the running game, Ferrell uses his long arms and strength to maintain control at the point of attack. He is also a very good tackler from his defensive end position. His motor is incredible as well. He plays with a sharp intensity and focus. I noted multiple plays where he did an outstanding job of chasing down ball carriers from the backside. Sometimes running 15 to 20 yards down the field to try and make a play. That kind of effort can be the difference in winning and losing football games. If you want to be a winning franchise, Clelin Ferrell is your guy. I predict Clelin Ferrell could get drafted anywhere from pick 8 to the Detroit Lions, to pick 16 to the Carolina Panthers.