Raiders Could Use Clelin Ferrell in Surprising New Role in 2020

Max Staley
Las Vegas Raiders could use Clelin Ferrell in surprising new role in 2020.
Las Vegas Raiders could use Clelin Ferrell in surprising new role in 2020. / Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Fans and analysts alike were shocked when the Raiders used the No. 4 overall pick in the 2019 Draft to select Clelin Ferrell. That's not to say he wasn't a bonafide first-round talent, he was, but most thought he'd be selected in the middle of the round or later.

Clearly, Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock saw something in him, though. Ferrell didn't blow anyone away as a rookie, tallying 4.5 sacks and 8 QB hits, but he could be given a surprising new role in 2020.

Take a look at what Gruden said during a recent media session.

If there’s a weak link somewhere, or there’s a game that we want to try to exploit stunt-wise, we’d like everybody to have that versatility on third down, certainly. But, we think Cle can bat some balls down, we think he can do a lot of things as a rusher inside and out eventually.

Jon Gruden

Ferrell played a total of 644 snaps as a rookie, only 24 of which came at defensive tackle. Las Vegas already has two DTs adept at rushing the passer, though, as both Maliek Collins and Maurice Hurst received a pass-rushing grade of at least 77.0 from Pro Football Focus in 2019.

In all likelihood, Ferrell's primary responsibility will remain on the edge. But moving him inside more frequently does allow Las Vegas to spell Collins and Hurst, while also allowing the Raiders to give Maxx Crosby and Arden Key more snaps off the edge.

If Ferrell can hold his own inside, it'd be a pretty shrewd move from the Raiders brass.

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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.