The 2019 NFL Draft will be a great event for teams to start building for their future. The Game Haus will be doing scouting reports on some of the top prospects in the 2019 NFL Draft. Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell was part of a dominant defensive line in college and will now test himself in the NFL.
Position: Defensive End
Class: Redshirt Junior
2018 stats: 55 total tackles, 20 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, two passes defended, one fumble recovery, three forced fumbles, one touchdown
Size: 6-foot-4, 264 pounds
Ferrell has two National Championships with Clemson as one of the best defenders on one of the best defenses in college football. He was a part of a very talented defensive front and Ferrell was the most successful pass rusher. He should be the first one selected from Clemson’s defensive line.
Over his career at Clemson, Ferrell totaled 166 total tackles, 50.5 tackles for loss, 27 sacks, five passes defended, one fumble recovered, one touchdown and five forced fumbles. He redshirted in 2015, then started playing continuously in 2016. He registered six sacks in 2016, 9.5 in 2017 and 16 in 2018. Ferrell has also stepped up in big games with 7.5 tackles for loss and three sacks in part of five College Football Playoff games.
For the 2019 NFL Draft, Ferrell will be one of the first edge rushers selected. The commissioner should be calling his name at the podium within the first half of the first round.
Ferrell was a successful pass rusher at the collegiate level. He showed the ability to win with speed, power and a variety of moves. He won on moves to the outside and inside. His best move may be the rip move, but with more time he can improve his other pass rushing moves, like his spin move, to get even better as a pass rusher.
Against the run, Ferrell maintains good gap integrity. His strength helps him shed blocks and get to the ball carrier. A lot of edge rushers at the top of drafts aren’t good run defenders, but Ferrell will at the very least hold his own against the run at the NFL level.
His awareness and football IQ is some of the best in the draft class. Ferrell doesn’t often get fooled by play action passes, counters or any other plays meant to confuse or slow down a defense. A lot of times he will make the right read on a play and break up the play before it happens.
While he is a good pass rusher, Ferrell lacks the flexibility and bend needed to win on the edge in the NFL. He is athletic, but is pretty stiff. If an offensive lineman can keep him in front and Ferrell can’t lower his pad level enough to get around him, he could be ineffective if he doesn’t have a good counter move.
Ferrell doesn’t have the top-level speed to get to the quarterback like other rushers in this draft class. It could limit his chances of winning with speed in the NFL even though he was able to win some of the time in college based on his speed. He is quick enough to get the job done, but won’t be one of the fastest edge rushers in the league.
In college, Ferrell was surrounded by other great defensive linemen. Because they were all so good, offenses didn’t always know who to focus their attention on. In the NFL if Ferrell starts to become successful, he will have to fight through more double teams than he did in college. He has the skills to do so, but doesn’t have the most experience beating double teams because of how good his teammates were.
Projected Draft Range: Top 15 pick