Road to the Draft

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Meet the Prospect: Clelin Ferrell

Name: Clelin Ferrell

Position: Defensive end

School: Clemson

Ht/Wt: 6-4, 264

40-yard dash: (did not run)

Bench: 25 reps

Vertical: (did not jump)

Broad: (did not jump)

3-cone: 7.26 seconds

20-yard shuttle: 4.4 seconds

How he fits: Ferrell is a highly productive edge player, who proved over the last three years at Clemson to be good both as a pass rusher and edge setter against the run. Ferrell has played a lot of football in three years, and comes into the NFL with a ton of experience. He completed his college career with 166 tackles, 50 tackles for loss, 27.0 sacks, 51 quarterback pressures, seven pass breakups and five forced fumbles in 2,167 snaps over 44 games (all starts) the last three seasons.

The Lions made a big splash into free agency and signed the top pass rusher available in Trey Flowers. They also re-signed last year’s team sack leader in Romeo Okwara. That’s a solid pair at the top of the depth chart, but Detroit still has to improve its depth and talent level behind Flowers and Okwara. Teams can never have too many pass rushers.

Key observations: Ferrell was an All-ACC performer and winner of the Ted Hendricks Award (top defensive end in college football) this past season. Despite playing only three seasons, his 44 starts were the most by any defensive end/outside linebacker in Clemson school history. He finished his Clemson career ranked tied for fourth in school history with 27 sacks, tied with William “Refrigerator” Perry.

View photos of NFL prospect Clelin Ferrell.

What they had to say about him: “Ferrell has excellent size, length and power. As a pass rusher, he lacks an elite get-off, but he has an effective dip/rip move and can generate some knockback with his hands. He has some stiffness at the top of his rush, but his effort is outstanding and he's a finisher once he gets to the quarterback. Against the run, he can hold the point of attack and does a nice job shedding blocks. Overall, Ferrell lacks elite athleticism, but I love his combination of size, effort and production.” – Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Analyst

How he stacks up: Ferrell comes in at No. 22 on Jeremiah’s list of the top 50 prospects in this draft. He’s the fifth best pass rusher on that list behind Nick Bosa, Josh Allen, Rashan Gary and Montez Sweat.

Ferrell is No. 23 on Mel Kiper Jr.’s latest big board of the top 25 prospects in the draft.

The Athletic’s Dane Brugler put Ferrell at No. 15 in his list of the top 100 prospects. He’s No. 17 on CBS Sports’ ranking of the top prospects.

What he had to say: “I just feel like my versatility is something that is very, very important when I feel like you talk about my game,” Ferrell said at the Combine. “I feel like that has always given me an edge as far as giving me a benefit on the field. Not only just my versatility as a player – I can play defensive end, I played some defensive tackle this past year, 3 technique. I’ve also dropped into coverage, outside linebacker.

“But not only just doing those things, but I feel like I’ve done them at consistently a high level. That’s always given me a bit of confidence as far as my play. And I’ve done it against the best competition playing at Clemson, so that was a blessing as well.”

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