DE Clelin Ferrell, Clemson*

6’4” – 264 lbs. – N/A

Redshirted after appearing in just one game as a true freshman, then became a starter the following year, posting 44-12.5-6.0. Followed that up with seasons of 66-18.0-9.5 and 55-20.0-11.5 before declaring for the draft. Highly productive three-year starter with an excellent combination of size and length; typically played right end on the Tigers’ defensive line. Able to extend his arms and lock out blockers, holding his ground near the line of scrimmage in Clemson’s defensive front, which uses two-gap principles. Sets a solid edge and plays with patience in backside contain. Can crash down toward the inside and create congestion on rushing attempts between the tackles, although sometimes this causes him to get sucked too far in and creates lanes on the outside. Has pretty good technique to shed blocks, with a wide tackling radius. Gives effort in pursuit but may lack the top-end speed to chase ballcarriers toward the sidelines. Some minor issues with finding the ball when faced with read-options/misdirection. Rushes out of two-, three-, and four-point stances. Somewhat less explosive than his production would indicate. Comes out of his stance low, with inconsistent reaction times to the ball being snapped. Can cover a lot of ground with his first step, but may not make the type of snap-to-snap impact in the passing game to be considered a true primary pass rusher. Approach tends to be to get depth, keep blockers out of his pads, and then try to shed and come back to the passer; would like to see a little bit more variety in his rushes. Has a spin move that looks effective but underutilized. A lot of his sacks come from his technique as opposed to blowing by blockers on the edge, surprising them with inside moves, or converting speed to power. Primary moves are his rip and swipe, both of which look effective. Has the closing burst to finish when he finds a lane. Opposing offensive lines respected him enough to roll some of the protections in his direction, even on a very strong defensive line. Also has some experience making drops into zone coverage; good awareness to chip running backs as they release out of the backfield, and can break off his rush and get physical while carrying them into another zone. A big defensive end who knows how to use his length and hands to his advantage, Ferrell may not be quite as twitchy, explosive, or creative as an ideal number-one pass rusher, but he has the discipline and well-rounded game to become an effective pro starter.

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