The Las Vegas Raiders officially reported for the start of training camp on Tuesday.
And with that, there are plenty of noteworthy former Clemson Tigers to keep an eye on this summer.
Tuesday offered an opportunity for the Raiders head coach to address the media. Jon Gruden talked about the start of the 2021 campaign but also made sure to outline an important pass-rusher with Clemson ties in Clelin Ferrell.
“Ferrell, he’s a good player,” Gruden told reporters during his Tuesday press conference. “He’s unique because he can play right end, he can play left end, he’s a good run defender. I think his best pass rush might be inside — and you saw that against the Jets when we allowed him to do that last year.
“But certainly, he’s going to be competing, he and Carl Nassib, who had a really good spring. They’re going to have to earn their snaps, and if you know Cle, you know he will compete. And you probably should count on him being a big part of this.”
It sure sounds like the Raiders are expecting big things out of the former No. 4 overall pick.
Through two seasons, Ferrell has 6.5 sacks and 18 quarterback hits in 26 career games. After appearing in 15 games during his rookie campaign, Ferrell’s 2020 season was cut short due to a shoulder injury and a bout with COVID-19.
In 11 games last season, Ferrell recorded just two sacks, both coming in a 31-28 Raiders victory over the New York Jets. That’s the game Gruden was alluding to and there’s hope that the Raiders can get that level of consistent pass-rush out of the former Tiger.
Time will tell, but this training camp is certainly a big one for Ferrell.