Many eyebrows Increased across the planet when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced the Oakland Raiders’ selection of Clelin Ferrell Using the No. 4 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
The Raiders, for their part, weren’t worried about pre-draft projections which indicated the Clemson defensive end might have been available later in the process. Oakland identified their man, looked for the right match and grabbed him.
In updating the defense, new general manager Mike Mayock and czar Jon Gruden looked for gamers who fit defensive coordinator Paul Guenther’s scheme. The DC considers Ferrell can be as powerful as some of the greatest edge rushers he had throughout his stint with the Cincinnati Bengals.
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“Clelin is exactly what I’m looking for,” Guenther said recently, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “That’s the kind of men we had. The Michael Johnson’s and the Carlos Dunlap’s we had in Cincinnati which are every-down endings, which are large men that can both rush and play the run. So he’s exactly what we’re looking for.”
Playing in Cincinnati, Dunlap is one of the most underrated pass rushers in the NFL. If he wore a star on his helmet, then the picture of the dude would be on cereal boxes. Despite turning 30, Dunlap still generates boatloads of pressure, earning at least 7.5 sacks all the past six seasons. The edge rusher owns the most sacks in Bengals history with 72.5 since the league began counting the statistic in 1982 (he’d allegedly be instant if you went back and counted Eddie Edwards’ sacks before that date). Dunlap enjoyed his finest seasons under Guenther, earning Pro Bowl bids in 2015 and 2016. Johnson also enjoyed several successful seasons under Guenther and created 44.5 sacks for his career, even although his production has trailed of late.
Needless to say, if Ferrell turns out for a Dunlap-type border rusher, the Raiders will be very pleased with the pick.
The rookie brings a toolbox which may not blow scouts away, but is consistently good in each area. Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict, a former teammate of Dunlap and Johnson, agrees that the comparisons are apt.
“Oh yeah,” Burfict explained. “He’s a rookie but I swear he’s been like five decades. Does not behave like a rookie. He comes in prepared to handle business, he is even a pioneer in the huddle, actually just hammering up guys, telling them,’Let us finish off the period.’ And that’s much coming from a rookie because when I was a rookie I did not want to say much, I only wanted to go out there and do my job, so coming out of him and he’s a defensive end and now that I give him a difference call or whatever type of telephone I give him, he knows it, so that is huge.”
Ferrell’s intelligence, leadership and consistency were reasons the Raiders were comfy making him a top selection. Perception be damned.
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