Everybody wants explosive pass rushers today, and Clelin Ferrell is one of the best in this year’s draft. Ferrell overcame injuries early in his college career to become one of the best defensive players in the country on the best team in the country.
Ferrell’s sack total increased from 6 to 9 1/2 to 11 1/2 the last three years, fifth most in the country, and he had 50 1/2 tackles for loss, fourth-most during that span. Playing for a program that was 41-3 over the last three years means he was a star at the highest level.
Ferrell is a classic 4-3 pass rusher and at 6-4, 265 pounds can also help against the run. He’s got the best first step in the country, and there’s no reason he can’t step right in and create havoc against opposing quarterbacks from Day 1.
Current roster at DE: Derek Barnett is going into his third year, but other than that, this is an aging group of defensive ends. Vinny Curry is 30, Brandon Graham is 31, Chris Long – who may or may note retire – is 34. So even though the Eagles took Barnett with the 14th pick in 2017, they could certainly use another young pass rusher in the mix.
How he would fit: Jim Schwartz rotates his ends and all his defensive linemen, so Ferrell would have the opportunity to contribute immediately, especially if Long retires. Curry has just 11 1/2 sacks in his last 69 games, so who knows what he’ll be able to deliver in his return to Philly. Ferrell would get every chance to make an immediate impact.
Eagles history at DE in draft: The Eagles have taken five defensive ends in the first round since 1995, and although none have made a Pro Bowl, 2010 pick Graham has had a nice career and 2017 pick Barnett has shown promise. Only the Jets have taken more defensive ends in the first round since 1995, and only the 49ers and Cowboys have also taken five.
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