Raiders: Clelin Ferrell vows to be a different player in 2020

Raiders (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Raiders (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

Las Vegas Raiders’ defensive end Clelin Ferrell recently vowed to be a different player in 2020.

The Las Vegas Raiders shocked a lot of people when they decided to take Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Many panned the selection calling it a major reach with most projections having Ferrell as a mid-to-late-round prospect. Others thought that while he may not have had the highest ceiling, he possessed a high enough floor to warrant the pick.

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Either way, it was clear that fans had high expectations for Ferrell and it would’ve taken a truly standout rookie season for him to reach those expectations.

Unfortunately, that didn’t exactly happen.

While Ferrell wasn’t horrible, he never really flashed the potential of a player who was a top-five pick. He finished with just 4.5 sacks in 15 games being completely overshadowed by fellow rookie, fourth-round pick Maxx Crosby.

And his subpar 62.2 Pro Football Focus grade indicates that there wasn’t much so-called “hidden production” to speak of either. While he was a better run defender than pass-rusher, he wasn’t exactly an elite run-stuffer either.

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Simply put, Ferrell was underwhelming.

Clelin Ferrell will be looking to have a much better season with the Las Vegas Raiders in 2020.

But going into the 2020 offseason, Ferrell seemingly took a vow to improve as a player and get into the best shape of his life in preparation for what will be a crucial second season in the NFL.

The 23-year-old has been bulking up and adding weight after losing 15 pounds last season as a result of a nasty midseason stomach bug. And according to an interview he did with Vic Tafur of The Athletic, the change has been pretty substantial.

Ferrell has reportedly put on 13 pounds over the past four months and his weight is now up to a very healthy 275 pounds. The hope is that the added bulk and muscle will allow him to find more success in his second season.

“You probably won’t even recognize me. Seriously,” Ferrell remarked to Tafur. And as Tafur said, “he vowed to be a different player when he reported back to the team facility.”

The Raiders drafted Ferrell to be a three-down, powerful defensive end who can stop the run effectively and win with power when rushing the passer. At times, Ferrell showed just that last season.

But overall, he needs to become much more consistent in that regard.

One thing that has never been called into question, however, is his character and work ethic. Ferrell has been tirelessly working this offseason looking to improve his physical conditioning and better increase his chance of success in 2020.

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He still has a long way to go before he could live up to his top-five status. But Raiders fans should expect to see a bigger (and hopefully better) Clelin Ferrell this season.