The 49ers and the Raiders' big boards for the 2019 NFL Draft will start with edge rushers.
Both Bay Area teams struggled mightily in rushing the passer this past season, but they're in position to address that in April. The 49ers own the No. 2 overall pick, and the Raiders will select at No. 4 before they make two other picks near the end of the first round -- one of which we already know is at No. 24.
In the College Football Playoff National Championship on Monday night against Alabama at Levi's Stadium, a top-tier pass rusher will be on display for Clemson, as will a long cornerback whom either team could use.
Clelin Ferrell, DE
Ferrell did it all for the Tigers in their dominant 30-3 Cotton Bowl win over Notre Dame to reach this title game. The 6-foot-5, 260-pounder ended the day with four tackles, one sack, one forced fumble and one pass defensed.
Let's not block Clelin Ferrell with a tight end, shall we? pic.twitter.com/IkAKEwjiMl— Michael Kist (@MichaelKistNFL) December 29, 2018
No. 99 is playing in the Bay Area for the first time, but he's familiar with its teams. Ferrell models his game after the best version of Aldon Smith, and he said he wants to be what the former 49ers and Raiders edge rusher should've been in the NFL.
Ferrell's impressive stats show that possibility. He has 27 sacks over three seasons at Clemson, including 21 sacks in the last two years. This season, he has 11.5 sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss, and was voted a first-team All-American for the second consecutive year. He also won the Ted Hendricks Award, annually given to the nation’s best defensive end.
Watching Ferrell match wits against Alabama All-American offensive tackle Jonah Williams will be a great test and one NFL front offices will be all over as they scout both players.
Trayvon Mullen, CB
Aside from an edge rusher, cornerback is the 49ers' next greatest need. They were last in the NFL with just two interceptions. Yes, two.
But Mullen doesn't have one interception this season. He'll still be an option for them on Day 2 of the draft, though.
Mullen had three interceptions in 2017, and has ideal NFL size at 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds. Here's how The Draft Network describes him: "Mullen plays up to his frame in terms of play strength and assertiveness as a tackler and in coverage. He flashes moments of outstanding ball skills and his long arms allow for recovery and margin of error."
Here's how 49ers and Raiders fans who want to see these prospects can watch Alabama-Clemson live on TV and online:
When: 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET on Monday, Jan. 7
TV Channel: ESPN
Live Stream: Watch ESPN