Scott Thompson, SNY.tv | Twitter |
We’re back with another scouting report, and another defensive end has made the list as the Giants have less than a week left until the 2019 NFL Draft.
Clelin Ferrell was one of college football’s most lethal edge rushers on a Clemson Tigers’ line that was furious in all aspects. The redshirt junior could have entered the Draft last season, but he wanted to work on his craft more in college and it paid off.
Totaling 11.5 sacks and 55 combined tackles (20 for loss), Ferrell proved himself to be a first-round talent. Will the Giants think so?
Here are a few pros and cons for New York to call Ferrell’s name in Nashville…
Projected Pick: First Round
Height: 6-foot-4, Weight: 264 pounds
College (career): 166 tackles, 27 sacks, 50.5 tackles for loss, five forced fumbles
Combine: N/A 40-yard dash, 25 bench reps, 7.26 3-cone drill
Ferrell is your prototypical defensive end in all aspects. His size is textbook for an athletic yet powerful rusher, and with a 34 1/8-inch wingspan and 10 1/2-inch hands, he has the length as well.
Then there’s his technique in getting to the quarterback. Ferrell knows how to use his length and hand techinque to separate from his blocker and burst into the backfield. He plays with both power and finesse, a uber important trait when evaluating pass rushers as it keeps tackles off guard.
And maybe Ferrell’s biggest advantage heading into the Draft is the fact that he has improved each year at Clemson. Coaches love to see self-improvement and the ability to get better with time when it comes to prospects, and Ferrell has done that. The numbers show it with increased sacks each year, and tackles for loss.
Ferrell is a very good player, but where would he fit with the Giants? Defensive coordinator James Bettcher is running a 3-4 scheme, and playing through a 4-3 system with the Tigers, scouts don’t believe he could make the transition without some development first. The Giants may think otherwise than take a chance that Ferrell would make a swift transition to as an outside linebacker.
Though he didn’t run at the Combine, Ferrell’s 40-yard dash time is 4.77, which isn’t too fast compared to other defensive ends like Montez Sweat and Rashan Gary. Being able to close out on quarterbacks and running backs is crucial, and Ferrell had some trouble with that against the better ones in college.
As mentioned before, Ferrell has also been working with NFL talent on Clemson’s lethal D-line. Players like Dexter Lawrence have helped create mismatches or one-on-ones for Ferrell that he has taken advantage of. That should change in the NFL, so Giants scouts likely have that in mind.
Ferrell’s development and steady play no doubt makes him a first-round talent. But I see the Giants going after a more athletic edge rusher that can thrive in their 3-4 scheme rather than someone like Ferrell who looks natural in a 4-3 scheme.
He has very good rushing skills, but Ferrell’s speed and lack of success when greeting opponents in the open field is a problem for me. Bettcher’s outside backers are asked to drop back into coverage from time to time, and Ferrell didn’t have to do that at Clemson.
Though he can make the transition with him being coached up well during his years at Clemson, will he be able to do it in the preseason to be the impact player the Giants need right now? There’s a big chance that won’t be the case.