First Step Quickness –Looks to have a little extra burst in 2018. Isn't reliant on his release off the line but does possess enough quickness and snap anticipation to get out of the blocks quickly and stress tackles on vertical pass sets. Above average but not necessarily elite ground gained at the snap.
Hand Technique/Length –Hand placement is top shelf. Gets effective fits with length and consistently establishes first contact to keep his forward push as a rusher and/or reset the LOS. Shedding skills are strong due to good awareness of hitting the wrist and popping hands off of his frame.
Pass Rush Counters –Brings variety and well timed strikes. Flexible in his rush plans and can long arm tackles around the edge, rip/dip his way through a soft angle, work back inside with an arm over/shallow swim...pace of play is not a problem and effectively takes visual feedback to string together moves.
Flexibility –Lacks elite bend but does offer cornering skills and enough lean to drop his pad level underneath the hands of an OT off the edge and play through contact. Linear flexibility via hip drop and leverage anchoring at the LOS is notably better.
Run Defending –Stout and carries a lot of pop in his hands to negate drive blocks into his lap. Quick to process when left unblocked and does well to step down and diminish angles. Will wrong-arm pullers to slip inside and disrupt the ball carrier with good strength and effectiveness.
Competitive Toughness –Love his work at the LOS. Effective in stacking blockers and is very stout against the run. Takes contact well and is capable of plugging up gaps vs. linemen with momentum as pullers. Does well in second effort plays to peel back to the pocket and generate pressure.
Tackling –Lengthy, rangy tackler who carries ample influence on the edge. Capable of sustaining contain and integrity with outside arm even once engaged with a blocker. Confident in closing angles to step into his challenges with speed and forcibly jar the ball carrier.
Lateral Mobility –Plenty of range for a 4-3 DE, flips his hips and getting width to avoid conceding a soft corner. When left unattended has mobility to crash hard off of the back side and get back into the ball carrier's hip, needs to be accounted for in blocking when running away from his side.
Stand Up Ability –Tasked with playing flexed out vs. trip to jam the LOS, play flat coverage in zone, rush from 2 pt. stance from the second level. Functional athleticism is adequate to continue reps in these areas at the next level but he's a player you want playing often with hand down.
Football IQ –Savvy player who shows high processing speed against both the pass and run. Understands his strengths as a player and plays true to them, will win with power to diminish angles but is willing to hit finesse when tackles overset him or are slow out of the blocks.
BEST TRAIT – Hand Technique
WORST TRAIT – Stand Up Ability
BEST FILM – Texas A&M (2018)
WORST FILM – Virginia Tech (2017)
RED FLAGS – 2014 ACL Tear
Clelin Ferrell projects as a high impact defensive end at the NFL level. Ferrell is physically capable of exploding out of his three point stances but prefers to win with his hands on blockers as compared to relying on speed. His technical prowess, hands and transitional skills as a rusher will allow him to defeat well placed tackles off the edge. An ace run defender, Ferrell is a three down player immediately who should easily step into a starting role.