Clelin Ferrell feels he is like a good cut of steak. You can’t rush cooking a filet mignon. You have to let it marinate.
“It takes time, but when it is ready, it is going to be ready,” the former Clemson defensive end said.
Ferrell used the steak analogy to describe his rookie season with the Oakland Raiders in 2019. Though some of the pundits feel his production as a rookie was not that of a top 5 pick, the two-time All-American from Clemson felt he had a good rookie season, one that laid the foundation for him and a Raiders team that his says is still filling each other out.
Last year, the Raiders picked Ferrell No. 4 in the 2019 NFL Draft, tying him with Banks McFadden (1940), Gaines Adams (2007) and Sammy Watkins (2014) with highest draft pick for a Clemson player in history.
In his rookie season, the 6-foot-4, 265-pound defensive end tallied 38 tackles, 4.5 sacks and knocked down five passes, while playing in 15 of 16 games. Last week, Ferrell was on ESPN’s First Take and defended his first year as pro football player.
“I feel like I had a good rookie year. I put up some numbers in like every category,” he said. “I would just say, with the different way my team was asking me to play, I don’t know if you watch or not, but I played inside and outside. And I was just a little bit of a different mix for me because I see that as my potential.
“Luckily, I feel we have a very young group as a defensive line and are still learning to play together.”
During the quarantine period, Ferrell says he has worked hard to get better and to continue to improve as a defensive end in the NFL.
“I feel like year two is going to be special because I really have been putting that work in for sure,” he said.
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